I’ll never get tired of Nomeansno, how could I?
Even their earliest recordings demonstrate impressive instrumental technique (“some of the most complex instrumentation you’re ever likely to find in punk rock”). Jazz has been an influence on the group; Rob’s basslines have a loping, melodic quality often reminiscent of Charles Mingus, and John’s drumming sometimes sounds a bit like Elvin Jones or Art Blakey. John’s drumming style has been mentioned as an influence to others, including Dave Grohl and Tim Solyan from Victims Family.
Nomeansno’s output features a seemingly endless flow of “Wright/wrong/right” puns, and significant measures of black humour, with “pointedly warped lyrics”, such as on “Dad” from Sex Mad. The song was a minor college radio hit, and has been called “a bit chilling, even though it’s spit out at slam-pit’s pace”. The first person narrator details a rampaging father’s physical and sexual abuse, ending with what’s been called a “killer end touch—the baldly delivered line ‘I’m seriously considering leaving home.’” One critic (while noting the group’s “savage intelligence”) suggests that Nomeansno might well be “the secret influence on a fair amount of both early-’90s math rock and emo, what with the barely controlled fervour of the singing and the sudden jerks back and forth in the rhythm section.”