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Norda - West Over Seas (+ 2) -12

West Over Seas (+ 2) -12"
Unfaegne - 1984

Michael Panontin
Post-punks Rent Boys Inc ruled the Ontario dancefloors in the early eighties, releasing a pair of excellent records, the hard-hitting 'No Grat' single and the more tepid Squeal for Joy EP. By 1984, however, the lads had skulked back to Toronto after a fruitless attempt at wooing those notoriously jaded crowds across the pond in Britain. It was around that time that the Boys' Brat X lent his gritty street cred to rhythmic industrialists Norda. The band was short-lived, flying under most radars back then, and thus a long-forgotten obscurity now.

Engineered at Toronto's Wellesley Street Studios, this hard-to-find EP (though I doubt there are many looking), features some fine primitivist percussion and industrial-strength banging, especially on the a-side. Ditto for the kinetic 'V' over on the flipside, where the earnest chants of "We will not be maintained / we will not be made ashamed!" should please fans of Solid Gold-era Gang of Four. Meanwhile, the two-odd minutes of 'Snakes and Ladders' is even more to the point. This time with a female vocalist, Cyn D, at the helm, the punchier beat, angular guitars and half-sung, half-spoken vocals find the band over in Au Pairs territory. Nice one.

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