Notta Comet
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Notta Comet

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | AFM

Montréal, Quebec, Canada | AFM
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Indie

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I wonder what is considered as being successful with houseplants? Beautiful bloomage? Must write that one down. I’ll ask Montreal weirdo rockers Notta Comet if they can prise themselves away from creating oddball, off kilter, mathy rock for long enough to talk to me. Also, fun fact: that was the first time I have ever typed the word prise. Had to check the spelling. It’s a word I use frequently in my speech, but never wrote it before. Another fun fact. Success With Houseplants is the trio’s debut LP after a slew of EPs etc. and the best way to describe it is probably angular, jagged even and weird. Definitely weird. What are some touch points? Well, it has a certain Minutemen (you know, those dudes that do the Jackass theme song) vibe for sure in its eclectic and experimental instrumentation, and seemingly random but rather funny and intelligent lyrics. This is a good thing. Minutemen rock. And so do Notta Comet.

Let’s start with the eclectic and experimentalism. Expect irregular rhythms. No need for your typical 4/4 rock beat here. That’d be too convenient. Opener ‘Colonial Authorities’ lurches all over the place. It’s kind of like your best friend when he/she gets super drunk: careering all over the footpath, and decrying God and his “moribund church”. This is a common theme throughout the record. ‘Subways’, ‘Don’t Upset My God’, and ‘Flower Song’ have particularly abrasive rhythm changes. It’s a lot of fun. I can imagine people making complete tools of themselves trying to keep up with these on a sweaty dance floor. All flailing arms, and super quick jerky movements.

The record is quite mathy, and jazzy. Intricate, super fast guitar lines play over John Entwhistle having an epileptic fit bass lines, while the water tight, and adventurous drums keep the whole enterprise afloat. Witness the opening to the superbly named “Somebody Outta Burn Down Ray Kurzweil’s House” (he’s director of engineering at Google). A mind bending circular LITE-esque riff is played over seriously jazz inflected drums, and a deceptive bass-line. Quality stuff. Meanwhile, ‘Flower Song’ sports a dissonant, straight forward hard rock sections, and urgency. Tons of urgency.

In lyrics and delivery, the band have their tongues firmly in cheek. Let’s have a sample: “Sometimes I catch myself wondering , what happens to the homeless cats in the wintertime, if the luckier ones sit on their sunbeams and radiators, and judge them for their bad decisions,” from ‘Paradoxical Undressing’. So this seems pretty much like fun nonsense, and, you know, maybe it is. There’s also what the band refer to as “musings on the failures of grand ideés, and the successes of the quotidian”. And this can be seen vividly in “Fascism” which seems to chronicle a person’s disillusionment with any ideology really, and ‘Flower Song’ which opens with the wonderfully vivid and mundane, “Oh look, it’s noon again, and the picked plaster peelings, from my prone prying, have finally encased the pillow, I think I should get up and piss.” It’s like Harvey Pekar, or Richard Linklater. Celebrate the every day!

So, back to the houseplants. I don’t know how much success the band have had with them, but they’ve certainly had success crafting an interesting, fun, and challenging debut record. The playing is precise, the tracks are infectious, and a good time will be had by all. The band claim that they, “play bike rock”, “scientist rock”, and also simply “play with rocks”. I’m sure they do. Keep it up, good sirs. - Overblown


Montreal's Notta Comet just unleashed their debut album Success With Houseplants today (December 5), and while it might not actually help you tune up your green thumb, it will certainly provide you with a some fresh, quirky indie rock to soundtrack all your gardening endeavours.

The three-piece band is composed of Look Vibrant drummer Eli Kaufman, in addition to Crawford Smith (bass/vocals) and Alex Williams (guitar/vocals), and the gang is not opposed to trying out new stuff.

The new collection features songs about everything from technology to hops to the residents of a post-apocalyptic Sea World, and the band describe themselves as one that has "embraced a wild eclecticism and a cracked sense of both time and humour, experimenting with the boundaries of genre."

Tunes range from the Krautrock-inspired yet Zappa-esque opener "Colonial Authorities" to the surprisingly poppy "Paradoxical Undressing." You can hear the full sonic spectrum by giving Success With Houseplants a spin in the player below. - Exclaim!


Notta Comet are three very clever dudes (US ex-pats living in Montreal) who have a penchant for both math rock and Frank Zappa weirdness. Their template is to lay down an alt rock riff, loop it, do some free-form jamming and then add some absurdist lyrics over top. It’s a formula that serves them well as they address topics such as religion, politics, social mores and the like. Their vocal style tends to vary from very Zappa-like (“Wino Threat”) to ’90s slacker (“Subways”), and from Bowie-like glam (“Facism”) to punk (“Somebody Oughta Burn Down Ray Kurzweil’s House”).

Being called a math rock band is not something that sits too well with them, however. “We’re just being ourselves,” explains drummer Eli Kaufman. “We definitely didn’t think of ourselves as math rock when we began. We know about it but we don’t listen to it that much.”

“The [math rock] label is confining,” adds guitarist/vocalist Alex Williams. “We call it scientist rock or bike rock. Yes, Eli and I are avid cyclists.”

Whatever they deign to call themselves you can’t help but admire their creative enthusiasm, even though at times they can drive themselves into a frenzy (“Flower Song”, for example, is pretty hard to take). But there’s melody and lyrical ingenuity at work, so it’s worth taking the time to let this grow on you. - Backseat Mafia


Witness the new sprouts, slinging some of the best hypercharged jazz punk upside down chorused psych anything into a world that probably don’t even care, don’t even know what awesomeness looms before them. At every change in this single, their latest in a perplexing and totally fucking exciting string of minimal output, I need to hit pause and scroll back a bit to try and decipher what I just heard. “Venice Beach” charges in, full pin, with a circling, deceptively complex lattice of shiningly clean chording over driving beats that invert on a dime, bass placed pointilistically in the pocket. The vocals garble and strive, breaking into breathless pleas and screams, smithereening into shimmery effects. Holy crap, there’s so much in here and so little to grasp. I wanna reach for references, I think of The Minutemen but nahhhh.. second track “Home” drives some sick clean into demented clown vocals and then comes the Beefheart breakdown, nice territory if that’s your steez and fuck yeah, it’s totally my steez. The bridge part builds into an intense, fuzzy peak that would destroy any basement show into a froth.
Then it’s all over. Two songs? Notta Comet has so much music in them I doubt that many could even survive a full length from this disgustingly talented new band. - The Big Takeover


From the gas cans of V. Rachel Weldon:

Imagine E-street’s skronking saxman as the Pied Piper of the post rock-apocalypse. Math and poetry duke it out violently on Alliums in a show of precise, chaotic and cacophonous execution. Spoken word artist Alex Williams nails all the meaningless little rituals to the wall of a tenement Montréal kitchen that is all to familiar with containing passive explosive domestic fits. Hard to believe it’s not a comet. - Weird Canada


Discography

December 2014: Success With Houseplants

February 2014: Venice Beach b/w Home

April 2013: Alliums

Photos

Bio

The “fresh, quirky indie rock to soundtrack all your gardening endeavours” is how Exclaim.ca described Montreal-based weirdo rock band Notta Comet’s new album Success with Houseplants. It shows a band embracing a cracked sense of both time and humour while poking holes in the divisions between West African highlife, post-punk, prog and good ol’ American indie rock.  Lyrically, the album is a musing on the failures of grandes idées, and the necessary successes of the quotidian.  Topics covered include: technology, hops, and the residents of a post-apocalyptic Sea World.  It is their first full length, and they will be touring the US and Canada in support of it for most of May.

Live, Notta Comet comes barreling down with the unstoppable grace and terror of a brakeless tractor-trailer somewhere deep in the Rocky Mountains.  Though only a classic power trio of guitar, bass, and drums, the dueling vocals of guitarist Alex Williams and bassist Crawford Smith max out the band’s brightness, saturation and contrast while drummer Eli Kaufman whips around with thirteen degrees of freedom.  They have previously toured Ontario, the Midwest, and selected parts of the Eastern Seaboard making what Weird Canada once called “a show of precise, chaotic and cacophonous execution.”

To forestall any obvious questions, Alex likes Stereolab, Eli likes Pavement, and Crawford likes Motown. Good night, good luck, and do right.




Band Members