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Every Nomeansno album Ranked from Worst to Best

Canadian National Treasure, pioneers in the marketing of microbrews to microgenres, leaders in the field of musical robotics (check out Compressorhead), and loveable hoser weirdos Nomeansno are the very definition of a band that transcended genre, while still remaining true to their punk ethos. A stellar 40-year career, only one lineup change when they traded one nerd guitarist for another in the early ‘90s, and a live show that was as captivating as it was dangerous is enough to give them all the praise they so deeply deserve. Led by Bass Badass Rob Wright and his classically trained Jazz Drummer/Brewmaster Extraordinaire brother John, this Juggernaut stopped only for old age, which given their track record and work ethic, is frankly impressive.

What’s even more impressive though is the fact that we here at The Hard Times took the time to rate, rank and ratify into code, the definitive Nomeansno list, so that you, dear reader will be spared the task of doing so yourself.

10. Mama (1982)

The Wright Brothers attempted to fly onto the scene with this album in 1982, and while it ain’t lacking in musicianship (specifically with regards to John Wright, your drumming is as intoxicating as your Punk Rauch Stout would be years later), songwriting, or any of the traditional Nomeanso trademarks, it definitely drags in some places. Sometimes sounding like a not-terrible version of “The Process of Weeding Out ” by Black Flag, “Mama” proved that even at their worst, Nomeansno are better than most bands at their best, or whatever Marilyn Monroe said.

Play It Again: “Rich Guns”
Skip It: “Living is Free (Wrong)”

9. Dance of the Headless Bourgeoisie (1998)

The only reason this isn’t ranked higher is because despite what the album title will tell you, the bourgeoisie still have their heads intact and are dancing on our dime. Going further there are no bad, mediocre, average, good, or great records, so we’re really at a loss for words here. While this record sounds like a speed-fueled Primus, is there anything wrong with that? Of course not, if Primus had some edge on them, they wouldn’t suck so bad, no back talk!

Play It Again: “This Story Must Be Told”
Skip It: “The Rape”

8. One (2000)

Another day, another perfect record. Or so went the career of Nomeansno. But seriously, how did these guys just go sooooo hard? It’s a question that will be pondered by philosophers and musicians for all eternity.. For sure it will stir up discourse that will hopefully be just as profound as Rob’s lyrics, and maybe as memorable? Time may tell you later how impactful this band was, but we can tell you “Now” that this band will go down in the annals of history and may ignite a Canadian coast battle of the bass between Geddy Lee and Rob Wright, both resurrected as cyborgs, creating some of the best rock’n’roll of the 24th Century, proving the thesis of one Neil Young that Rock’n’Roll will never die.

Play It Again: All off their catalogue yes, but on this album in specific, “Under the Sea” and “A Little Too High”
Skip It: “Beat on the Brat” (not that it’s bad, just dilutes the pure essence of the band due to it being a cover)

7. All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt (2006)

Nomeansno’s final record, it’s a truly fitting swan song to the band. After MORE than thirty years together, Nomeanso were just as unique and fun as ever before. So high-powered that it kept the band touring for almost the next decade before a well-earned retirement. Anyone needing a road map to the land of beer and rock’n’roll need not look any further, for here is the map to flawlessly reach your destination.

Play It Again: “So Low”
Skip It: “Mr. In Between”

6. The Worldhood of the World (As Such) (1995)

The first record to feature Tom Holliston on guitar, the lesser Nomeansno guitarist if we’re being honest. But that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with his records, or any Nomeansno record for that matter. But you came here for a ranking and to laugh at some dumb jokes about the punk scene, nor for actual serious discussion of these albums’ merits. It’s been challenging to rank these records since they rule, and frankly, I’ve been on a bender for a couple of weeks, or so I tell my editor when I’m late for my article. He’s too stupid to notice anyway, and probably doesn’t even read these things.

Play It Again: “Angel or Devil”
Skip It: “State of Grace”

5. Why Do They Call Me Mr. Happy? (1993)

The first and only album since their debut to be recorded as a two-piece, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell without us telling you right now. The only complaint there is with this album is that it takes forever to tell us why this fellow from the cover is called “Mr. Happy”, especially after some of the most propulsive material of their career had just been recorded. But the payoff is worth it with the “Faith No More” sampling album closer, “Cats, Sex, and Nazis” providing some of the funkiest punk that ever funked, and that’s the truth. And the truth must reign us in, since lies can often get you power.

Play It Again: “The River” and “Cats, Sex and Nazis”
Skip It: “Let the Bells Ring Out”

4. Sex Mad (1986)

The first album recorded as a three-piece, released four years after their first outing, “Sex Mad” is the sound of a band going through a metamorphosis, from a punky jazz band turning into a jazzy punk band, and arguably the first real post-hardcore record. While lead single “Dad” definitely doesn’t hold up to modern sensibilities, the album was transgressive, dark, and propulsive, expanding minds by way of split skulls (more room for brain growth amirite?), Nomeansno sealed their legendary legacy with this album.

Play It Again: The Title Track
Skip It: No skips going forward

3. 0+2=1 (1991)

A bold plan, drawn up by assholes to screw morons. A strange, nonsensical equation that makes very little sense, and our number two pick for Nomeansno Record, their last with semi-original guitarist/best guitarist Andy Kerr, who moved to Amsterdam for “greener pastures” we assume. Not as good as “Wrong,” but it’s right up there with all the best Nomeansno works, taking aim at everything everywhere all at once, with all the focus you have come to expect with those mathematically precise drumming. Just a shame they couldn’t solve that simple equation on the album title.

Play It Again: “Everyday I Start to Ooze”
Skip It: How about No (and no means no)

2. Small Parts Isolated and Destroyed (1988)

While not as propulsive as its predecessor or as iconic as “Wrong” in music circles, “Small Parts” marinates you in its greatness, really zeroing in on those smaller musical parts, perfecting the interplay and chemistry of Nommeansno’s strongest lineup ever, bombarding the listener with pure musical destruction and deconstruction. We would try to make some jokes about this album, but that would be wrong of us since this album is from start to finish, so “Wright” in every way. But seriously, roll up a fattie, fire up your record player or youtube and give this a spin, making your day a win and ensuring “Victory,” not defeat

Play It Again: Victory
Skip It: Yeah no bah’d

1. Wrong (1989)

Canada Day Came one month early this year when “Wrong” was finally added to Spotify, along with a healthy break from our otherwise year-long winters with some of the sunniest weather to date (thank the Alberta Oil Fields for that). Equal parts invigorating and nihilistic without either losing balance, and the healing of his vocal cords brings Rob Wright back as the band’s primary lead vocalist, and one of the living legends of Canadian Punk, this album really has it all. Great musicianship, songwriting, and experimentation that propelled the growing Post-Hardcore movement confidently into the ‘90s, one year ahead of schedule. Take note dear reader, lest anyone get “Tired of Waiting”.

Play It Again: Yeah, so hunker down y’all
Skip It: No Bahd