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Noah And The Loners – Desolate Warning EP

The future of UK punk is safe in these hands

In the lead up to Rebellion 2023, I selected 50 acts that really deserved your attention, if you were attending the annual Blackpool punk festival. Many of these were bands I already knew about, but were little known generally, or up and coming. Everyone knows about the headline acts and sadly for many of the older generation, that’s the limit of their interest. Amongst the 50 I felt were worthy of a punt were Noah & The Loners. I knew absolutely zip about them, apart from a few old interviews I found online and a couple of YouTube videos. All I could say with any certainty was that were dead young, full of (s)punk and capable of writing tunes with hooks big enough to catch Moby Dick.

The band, who were a revelation at last years SXSW Festival in Texas, are fronted by singer/songwriter Noah Lonergan on vocals and guitar, with Amber Welsh (bass), Joseph Boyle (guitar) and Noah Riley (drums) completing the line-up. Noah has something to say and he’s saying it loud. His powerful songs capture the zeitgeist of Gen Z – from personal tracks on teenage love and his experience of toxic masculinity as a trans man, to political blasts at racism, corruption and the climate crisis.

Noah has been singing since he could talk and first picked up a guitar when he was 11. He started gigging with his school mates a couple of years later, and his first band Polarized Eyes gained national airplay on Tom Robinson’s BBC Introducing Mixtape on 6Music, when Noah was just 14. Continuing his precocious success, Noah is the youngest artist ever to be signed to Marshall Records.

I bumped into them the day before they were due to perform, and was blown away by how grounded they were, not at all defensive in the questioning of a man old enough to be their Grandfather, let alone dad! Seeing them perform on the Pavilion stage the next day, will be long remembered by everyone who was lucky enough to be there! Grown men cried, yes really! They were that good.

Since then they’ve been gigging their arses off and a support slot on The Meffs UK tour last year exposed them to a lot of new fans. Safe to say they are on a journey and the next time they tour it will be as headliners in bigger venues.

Noah and Amber – Gullivers NQ

So what about this EP I hear you ask? Well it’s a 5 track 12inch on red vinyl, lead track Crash Landing is 139 seconds of angry teenagers telling you how they feel about the current state of our country. Violence, social division and the need for a realignment, e.g. Crash Landing. This is the real message of levelling up from the street. Now there’s been young punk bands with a message before, but generally that rhetoric has never really been delivered so melodically and succinctly. This isn’t punk by numbers, or hardcore thrash with standard boom tish boom tish drumming. No, this is what the Arctic Monkeys would have sounded like if they’d listened to The Libertines or UK Subs. Every single track is more hook laden than Velcro. This is a band who know how to craft the perfect song, each element given the space to co-exist, allowing the vocals to ride the crest of the waves like Charlie Harper on a surfboard. It’s perhaps unfair to pick out any of them individually, as they are all top musicians and Noah has a way with words, but guitarist Joseph Boyle is another level. It’s as if he’s swallowed the complete Offspring riff library and unlike “guitar George”, he does make it cry and sing.

Just Kids is a self effacing skip through all the things that adults say to keep the younger generation in their lanes. The rhythm section of Welsh (bass) and Riley (drums) bring the power and Boyle just smothers it in layers of Noodle-esque sauciness. 85 seconds of perfect punk.

The febrile intensity and twin brooding vocals of You Make Me (Fall Apart) touches on some dark personal shit, and shows that they have songcraft in abundance.

Mosh pit fave Losing My Head reminds me of Symposium at the height of their career and track 5 is the last single Hell Of A Day, a personal highlight and my introduction to the UK’s best young band.

Every penny their parents have spent on equipment and lessons has been a shrewd investment. There are bands who’ve been going for years that simply have yet to reach their levels. It’s actually frightening how good they are. They play Manchester Punk Festival and Rebellion amongst other festival appearances this year and are currently ripping up Ausin Texas at SXSW Festival.

A Desolate Warning EP is out now and can be purchased from the band’s Bandcamp page.

Coming shows –

  • Manchester Punk Festival Sunday 31st March 17:50 @ The Bread Shed
  • Rebellion Festival Thursday 1st August

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About The Author

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Andi Callen (Contributing Editor)

Original punk. Done everything there is to do in music, except run a record label! Addicted to noise and taking photographs of live music. Based on NW England, I've previously contributed to Louder Than War, MancAndi, The Punk Site, and Backseat Mafia, where I was Punk/Post Punk & Live Editor. Part of the original review team when Rocksound Magazine first started.
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