THE PRESS RELEASE: “The No Ones are a new bi-continental collaboration featuring Scott McCaughey, Frode Strømstad, Peter Buck, and Arne Kjeisrud Mathisen. Stretching from Norway through Athens, Georgia to the northwest corner of the United States, and consisting of members from R.E.M., I Was A King, The Minus 5, The Baseball Project, etc., The No Ones are classic two guitars, bass, and drums, sounding like what you might expect, only different, more-so, and better! The 13-track album was recorded in June 2017, at Type Foundry by Adam Selzer in Portland, OR, and features Patterson Hood, Darren Hanlon, Andrew Reiger, Lucy Parnell and Debbi Peterson. With music by the collective and lyrics by McCaughey about abduction, interstellar mysteries, witchcraft, climate change, gentrification, and the desolation of the soul, their vocal harmonies and psychedelic flourishes fuse the sunny turbulent sounds of the ’60s with the darkness and decay of present day.”
THE OTHER PRESS RELEASE: “Peter Buck was the guitarist for the biggest band in the world – R.E.M. Luke Haines was the guitarist for The Auteurs. The Auteurs were not the biggest band in the world. They were pretty good though. Luke Haines also does paintings of Lou Reed. One day, Buck bought one of Haines’ Reed paintings (for £99.00) They had never met before but decided that the fates had brought them together and they should write some songs together and make an album. Beat Poetry For The Survivalist is that album. With songs about legendary rocket scientist and occultist Jack Parsons, The Enfield Hauntings, (of 1978) a post-apocalyptic radio station that only plays Donovan records, Bigfoot, and Pol Pot.”
MY TWO CENTS: Peter Buck is the Will Rogers of rock ’n’ roll — he never met a musician he didn’t want to make an album with. The absurdly prolific R.E.M. guitarist’s latest collaborations include The No Ones (a supergroup with old pal Scott McCaughey and two members of Norway’s I Was A King) and former Auteurs guitarist Luke Haines. If loosely scrappy indie-rock and psychedelic jangle-pop laced with harmonies do it for you, go for the former. If Robyn Hitchcock-style weirdness fused with spiderwebby vocals and noisy experimentation is what you’re after, choose the latter. If neither one floats your boat, don’t sweat — Buck will surely have something else to offer in short order.