No Man/Roger Miller

Win! Instantly!

No Man/Roger Miller - Win! Instantly! ©1989 SST
1. Run Water, Run Water
2. No Man's Landing
3. Calling The Animals
4. Scratch
5. This Is Not A Photograph
6. The Promised Land
7. The Quarry
8. Renegades
9. Voluptuous Airplanes

Leagues removed from the post-punk guitar rock of Mission of Burma, former bandleader Roger Miller has since been quite busy attempting reinventions of the wheel with his solo releases and the No Man band. The only thing No Man has in common with Mission of Burma is the burning ideal to push one's self as a musician and Win! Instantly! does just that.

A rather unusual record, the instrumentation on Win! Instantly! is layered electric piano (albeit through a variety of effects and pedals), cascading percussion and strange echoing sound effects. Obstensibly the songs have a fairly straightforward arrangement, the oddness of the instrumentation immediately sets the album in left field. Roger Miller's thick, tenor voice offers his outlook on things, although his singing is more of another element of the mix, rather than a focal point. The melodies are strong, particularly on the brilliant album opener, "Run Water, Run Water". There is also a remake of Burma's "This is Not a Photograph", which is given a neo-industrial percussion onslaught and a piano treatment. Guitar is spotty in appearance and far from being a major force in the making of this record. Rather, it is the layered, distorted and effects-laden pianos that create this record.

Win! Instantly! is a truly unique album from one of the more underappreciated pioneers of experimental rock. While still a very striking record in its adventurous aspirations, Win! Instantly! still works within the realm of great songwriting and is highly recommended for a true post-punk, exciting experience.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 07/2001

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