Noah and the Loners – ‘A Desolate Warning’ EP

By Katherine Allvey

It’s easy to forget sometimes that punk is, by its very nature, political. There’s no making that mistake with Noah and the Loners; they wear their hearts and their political values on their sleeves loudly and proudly like badges of honour. “I don’t see the point of writing a song if you’re not saying anything,” says frontman Noah Lonergan, “and I don’t think we’d be the band we are if the music wasn’t so personal.” Their revolutionary zeal feels like the only natural response to the frustrations we’re all feeling, and gives us a lot of hope for the future of UK punk.

Noah and the Loners are very young, both as individuals and as a band. That’s very much to their advantage: after all, there’s only so many times you can hear a white guy in his fifties singing about anarchy before you feel a little bit sad. When Lonergan tells about “riots on the street” and getting “parliament burning” on ‘Crash Landing’, it feels like he’s leading the mob. As the first track on ‘A Desolate Warning’, it’s a decisive and impressive opener, all incitement and violence with drumbeats like marching feet. They address their age on ‘Just Kids’, a song as short as an old school punk track should be. With a sneer like that in his vocals, Lonergan needs to check whether there’s a Lydon somewhere in his ancestry.

‘Hell Of A Day’ is a souped-up version of the slice-of-life thing that Mike Skinner used to do, mixing everyday ranting with social commentary and a bridge like a chasm opening into lava. And then there’s ‘You Make Me (Fall Apart)’, a song which promises Libertines-like honesty in its broken simplicity and dark edged-bass. Noah and the Loners are leafing through original punk zines and repurposing what they find with a gleeful shout. 

This EP is fresh and incendiary, and Noah and the Loners know they’ve got a good thing going by keeping their songs short, simple and encrusted with grit. Old school punk stereotypes are snipped apart and stitched together like patches on a battle vest to create the rough and raw ‘A Desolate Warning’. With any luck, we’ll be looking back on this EP five years from now, astounded at how Noah and the Loners have turned this spark into punk rock dynamite. 

KATE ALLVEY

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