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Sounds | No Prisoners - Video Will Play After Ad

Aha, nog eens eentje met (véél) gitaren en toch niet hard rock of metal, maar eigenlijk ook niet die typische indie/alternative rock! No Prisoners brengen hun eerste single en die verrast me toch een beetje. Bij de start dacht ik dat dit richting grunge - of moet ik nu post grunge zeggen? - zou gaan. Wanneer de zachtere, warme stem van Pieter-Paul Devos hoor, dan lijkt die eerst wat als een tang op een varken te staan. Het a capella gezongen slot slaps en doet een belletje rinkelen: yep, 'There are no genres, ...'. Toch niet in het geval van deze band, of je zou het simpelweg gitaarrock moeten noemen. Met het vervolg van die zin uit de perstekst ben ik het dan weer niet mee eens: muziek is subjectief, dus bestaat er ook geen 'goede' of 'slechte' muziek, enkel muziek die je raakt of koud laat. Mijn gedacht hé. No Prisoners heeft alvast een song afgeleverd die mijn aandacht heeft getrokken. Wanneer ik de tijd vind, beluister ik zeker ook de EP.

Watch Your Eyes (EP) is op 7 november verschenen.


“There are no genres - just good sincere music and bad music,” are some big ballsy words from a musician, but if there is one person to ring them true it is Belgian noise rock artist Pieter-Paul Devos. The man behind Kapitan Korsakov and Raketkanon has been a driving force in the Belgian rock scene for many years and his efforts have been acknowledged by such greats as Iggy Pop and Steve Albini (who recorded a number of his records). The man has a knack for legendary one-liners it seems. “Less Sgt. Pepper and more Revolver,” he says with a wink as he explains the sound of his new band NO PRISONERS. Combining the keen sense for songwriting of acts like Hüsker Du and Wipers with the melodic swagger of bands like Buzzcocks and Pixies, the EP 'Watch Your Eyes' is an affable collection of garage rock songs that will have you singing along in no time.

Arising from a creative bout of songwriting during lockdown, these four tracks see Devos move away from the experimentalism of his previous bands and into fresh garage pop territory. Debut single 'Video Will Play After Ad' with its larger than life chorus will instantly send your spirit on a shockwave of squealing noise rock guitars and raspy vocal harmonies, while 'If This is a Man’s World' will have you thrashing about whether you are a man, woman, or non-binary living in a man’s world - if this IS in fact a man’s world.

Joined by Pieter De Wilde (drums), Leander van het Groenewoud (bass/backing vocals), and Harry Descamps (guitars/backing vocals), Devos manages to touch just about every nook and cranny a garage rehearsal space can possibly hold, whether by putting surf rock on steroids with breakneck punk anthem 'I’d' or by rubbing shoulders with Eels or the Beatles on 'Mouth to Mouth'.

With NO PRISONERS Devos comes closer to sincerity than ever before in his career. Over the honest instrumentals and crafty hooks, 'Watch Your Eyes' paints an earnest picture of our daily struggles in a digitised society. The slightly tongue in cheek way they use the phrase 'video will play after ad' to say life is ok is both ingenious and tragic. The same goes for the “I’ve got a lot of questions but the wrong search terms” that opens 'I’d' or the “I do feel disconnected since mobile phones” of closer 'If This is a Man’s World'. It’s in the words that 'Watch Your Eyes' becomes all too real and it’s the melodies that makes the message hit close to home. It makes you want to drop whatever it is you’re doing and just shout along, whether alone or with friends, and just forget about life for a moment.

In the words of Iggy Pop,“Belgium is key in the arts at the moment,” and with their undeniable energy and compositional craftsmanship NO PRISONERS are a rising star in a burgeoning rock scene. With its collection of gratifying riffs and larger-than-life choruses 'Watch Your Eyes' is an instantly relatable affair for fans of anything loud, fun and hard rocking. Just press play!


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