Friday, June 18, 2021

Gritty Midlanders; The Novus hit the mark with debut EP ‘Thaleia Standing’

The Novus are a 4-piece indie band from Birmingham. After dropping several singles over the past couple of years they’ve come back to release their first Extended play; ‘Thaleia Standing’.

The EP starts off with the fuzzy distorted bass of ‘I Serve Not’ which progresses into a sludgy breakdown. We are introduced to the dark baritone crooning of frontman; Connor Hill, who has a vocal tone similar to that of the 80s bands; Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths, or perhaps even Joy Division. The vocals are mixed excellently throughout the EP.

‘Hate Is a Cancer’ has a more punk rock feel and tempo to it with the motorik drums and shouted vocals. This one starts off with a kind of a Latin chord sequence then progresses to a sparse verse with half-spoken vocals and goes into the catchy hook; “Hate is a cancer/ Love is the cure”.

‘Overdriven’ is probably the heaviest track on the EP. The guitars on this give me early Jimmy Page vibes. Hard-hitting drums and distorted breakdowns to create an exciting mash of noise, something I imagine they will prioritise in their live performances when the venues open up again.

Castaway’ has interesting lyrical content. Painting a picture of a desolate gritty atmosphere. Poking fun at the useless education that we’ve all been given and how ironically, we know more about mundane topics rather than ourselves. That’s what I took from it at least.

‘Journey With No Ending’ closes the EP with a bang. The song begins with an acapella vocal verse, stacked harmonies which reminds me almost of something Depeche Mode. You can really get a sense of the presence that Connor has with his voice. The final minute provides a big finish to the project. The tempo speeds up and up as the guitar and bass provide a wall of sound with all the shoegaze-like effects while the vocals are screams all over the place.

The mix of the record is slightly over-compressed and slightly flat in places, particularly the cymbals and hi-hats of the drums. The vocals, however, are mixed consistently well and effectively. I have to appreciate the time they spent on finding the best tones and effects for the guitars. Each track builds up to a climax that really pays off and the record flows nicely into each track. Overall, I enjoyed the record, I think what they have is quite a unique sound while also putting a spotlight on their influences and I’m looking forward to seeing how they progress their sound in the future. Keep it up boys.

For fans of: Everything Everything, Joy division, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Black Keys & the music of hit show the Peaky Blinders.

Luke Glazsher

@lucass098 @Lukeglazsher

Image: Max Auberon   

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