The Delphines were one of the best Milwaukee bands of the 2010s, firing forth a series of EPs and singles stuffed with jittery, sexy, reverb-drenched gloom-rock. But soon after the group finally got around to releasing a full album—the excellent Hush—it broke up. With singer Jami Eaton devoting time to starting a family, the remaining Delphines—Harrison Colby, Lucas Riddle, and Jeremy Ault—were left in a bind: how to continue what they started? The answer comes in the form of NO/NO, a new group formed from the ashes of the Delphines, featuring Colby, Riddle, and Ault, as well as Rio Turbo’s Cat Ries stepping in on vocals and synth. Make no mistake: NO/NO is a completely new band, but Delphines fans will find plenty to love on the group’s debut EP, Drag.
That’s not to say NO/NO is a fans-only proposition. From slashing opener “Hardcore” on, it’s clear that The Delphines’ lo-fi sex-and-sleaze has been given a glistening pop makeover. “Crooked Faith” percolates and bubbles with Ries’ synth, and “Drag” plays like an impossibly sad prom song in a long-lost John Hughes film. The winning “Mistakes,” meanwhile, takes one part The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and one part Blondie to create the kind of ’80s-indebted earworm that Colby and company seem to crank out once a week. Reis’ alternately defiant and bubblegum-smacking vocals give the song yet another texture, and the band its own identity. Drag may be born of The Delphines, but it’s a whole new beast. Listen to it now, only at Milwaukee Record.
NO/NO will play its first show Saturday, November 1 at Quarters. Teenage Moods, The Pen Test, New England Patriots, Columba Fasciata, and Sin Bad are also on the ridiculously stacked bill. Admission is $7.