No Fun At All - GRIT

During my first year in the university a whole eternity ago I met this punk rock wacko who had a bunch of tapes and he borrowed me a few, one of them being labeled by him as "No Fun At All featuring members of The Offspring, Bad Religion and The Exploited". Yes, there was Internet back then but it wasn't like today to check your facts right away. So for a little bit, I lived with the fallacy of listening to an ultra grand super(duper)group. I still chuckle at this story so please feel free to make fun of me as well.

During that same time, No Fun At All was disbanded but I already knew these guys were actually Swedish and I was way more familiar with other bands from the Scandinavian country. Man, "Out Of Bounds" (1995) is a fundamental record for the European punk scene - fast, yet incredibly melodic, full of anthemic songs and great singalongs as an answer to all the amazing music from their American contemporaries from the Epi-Fat labels. It just stood the test of time more than two decades later.

Fun fact of the day: Zlatan plays bass in No Fun At All
on their third album "The Big Knockover" (1998)
I have no memory of what their comeback record "Low Rider" (2008) sounded like but I'm pretty sure it's not different than the rest of their catalog. Same goes for "GRIT". As soon as you're a few songs into it, you get this feeling that you might have heard them already. The truth is you haven't but the sense of familiarity grabs you by the throat or more accurately by the ears and after another spin, you will catch yourself singing the choruses - "Whatever it takes, whatever it takes me, I'll be there by your side" ("Forth").

There is no denying though that No Fun At All has a lot in common with Bad Religion. Both bands are masters of the vocal harmonies while their guitar work also gravitates between melody and gritting hardcore riffs. Pun intended, "GRIT" is a trademark No Fun At All and it's everything this band has been since the '90s. This may be a cliché but there is no better way to describe it.

For sure there are enough tracks to make you feel wanting to hear the band's older stuff and there could be a couple of filler songs. But in terms of overall satisfaction "GRIT" hits the right spot. In this context "Runner's High" is a flawless highlight - a mid-tempo alt-rock anthem bringing on the table everything you loved in "Out Of Bounds". Songs like the raging openers "Spirit" and "No Fun Intended" deliver the fun (pun not intended this time) with furious speed and occasional gang vocals and the perfect singalong "Fortunate Smile" is somewhere in the middle of all three aforementioned tracks.

There's nothing wrong sounding like yourselves and No Fun At All do what they do best - punk rock by the book they have written major chapters in it. "GRIT" is good old unconditional fun and for the record - my plan is to have a lot more Swedish music reviewed here soon from different genres.

Listen if you like:
To skate while blasting some fast-paced punk rock
Swedish punk rock in general
Any punk rock in general
Circle pits and stage dives

Recommendation rate:
Comfortably moderate


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