Brainchild of siblings Bud Zomby and Charlene Wilson, Nora’s Attic began several years ago, as two aspiring musicians tried to create something meaningful, something meaty. Working with computer synth, a variety of drummers and bass players, the duo worked on refining their sound and improving their innate talents. After catching up Jimmy K. and Chris Kreed in its wake, the Attic surged forward into the Calgary music scene, finally complete and performing at a variety of venues to enthusiastic response.
With an aggressive female lead singer, chunky post-metal guitars, dynamic bass lines and a stone-solid drum section, Nora's Attic is everything that was good (and dark) about bands like the Pixies, the Breeders and Urge Overkill. They cite as main artistic influences bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Bush, Silverchair, Ani Difranco, 5 Finger Death Punch, and Tool. They have also been compared to newer acts such as Jackalope and Flyleaf. Nevertheless, their prevailing sound hearkens back to the days when MTV was riding high and Pearl Jam members were still playing in Mother Love Bone.
“[We're making] a return to alt-rock roots,” the Nora's Attic official bio reads. “We're bringing lyrics about hurt, about struggle, about fighting tooth and nail to break free of the anguish that can cloud our lives. The stories these songs tell might seem dark and moody, but all of them offer a glimpse of something better, a hope that drives us to carry on, to break through, to come out on the other side stronger and better than we were.”
With edgy topics such as these, some of Nora's Attic lyrics on “Starving” are labeled with the 'explicit lyrics' tag, but absolutely all of them are genuine, heartfelt and personally profound, adjectives that hardly ever seem appropriate when describing common themes of contemporary music.
Likewise, their riffs are pared-down and straightforward, their melodies born of a kind of blue-collar passion that seems to stem from the antiestablishmentarian attitudes of the '80s punk movement, just as those of the '90s alt-rock bands did before them.
Nora's Attic is a band that deserves much recognition for their natural ability to shrug off the mainstream's pressure to conform, and their style and tone are refreshing to the longtime music fan's ear. There's no reason to miss this excellent, modern incarnation of alternative music.
“Starving” by Nora's Attic is available online worldwide beginning 18 October 2013.