No Trend clunked around Washington DC in the ’80s, releasing a number of wildly inconsistent records in the process. The Teen Love EP, a fun four-song 12-inch, has the off-kilter and terrific “Mass Sterilization Caused by Venereal Disease,” a Flipperesque pandemonium feast punctuated by the simple lyrics of the title. What follows is the bumbling “Die,” a song not all that dissimilar from PiL’s “Death Disco.” The flipside contains the lengthy, snidely vituperative “Teen Love.”
After that promising beginning, Too Many Humans succumbs to abject hero worship, as the group kneels before Public Image’s Metal Box altar. Toss in Flipper, Alien Sex Fiend and, in one case, Negativland and you’ve got No Trend’s recipe here. The Flipperish songs include heavily reverbed vocals (just like Flipper), and the PiL-isms feature blatant Levene and Lydon imitations — albeit pretty good ones. Think about the original combos real hard and you won’t need to hear this record.
Lydia Lunch made a guest appearance on A Dozen Dead Roses and then joined forces with the group for a 10-inch EP, Heart of Darkness. Her label, Widowspeak, also released a No Trend compilation, When Death Won’t Solve Your Problems. All of which led up to Tritonian Nash, a thoroughly amazing chunk of plastic crammed full of surprises, including a horn section, bells, a cellist, guitarists who don’t want to be Keith Levene and a sorely needed sense of humor. Start to finish, Tritonian Nash is a nearly indescribable aural romp of punk, funk and pop, with dashes of lounge music and some dreadful country twinges. Find this record and buy it.