Skip to main content

EP Review: Novacrow - Criminal Mastermind

They are one of the most exciting bands to listen to and watch live. A band that I always love to talk about. Novacrow is a band that really encapsulates the idea of having fun with your art form. The Liverpool rockers return with their new EP, Criminal Mastermind and it's another diverse collection of bangers that will get you rocking out. They are just one of those bands that can brighten up your day in an instant with their character and energy. Their songs are a good mix of genuine hard rock with outlandish and punchy lyrics. They just have that style that keeps you engrossed and entertained and their charisma just shines through on every track. 

The opener of "Fever Swamp" is this big bombastic tune that immediately grabs your attention. The heavy riff and big bass-filled tunes, really sound great as they take their clear love of alternative metal and put their own spin on it. Everything about the songwriting is great as they are clearly having fun making these songs. My favourites being "Lab Rat" and the title track "Criminal Mastermind" from a writing perspective. It's so clear they love making up characters and telling stories through the medium of music. Interweaving great use of descriptive language and creative poetry make the songs really interesting to listen to. Also the vocalist, Kitty Staunton has so much presence and personality in her voice. Her inflexions sell the lyrics, as her vocal delivery melds with the hard rock music blasting away. 

The production could be better. However, it's not awful. Certain songs sound cleaner and sharper than other tracks. As a result, the EP feels a little inconsistent, at least to my ear. Having listened to it via good speakers, in the car and through headphones this was a problem I constantly had. Like I said though, it's not terrible. The songs are still very audible and you can hear every instrument well. I just feel like the production is a little flat here and there, and the sound could pop a little more. For an example, "Lab Rat" sounds a lot better than "Are You Happy?" or "Laughing Gas". It sounds much more of a polished and well-defined sound. Maybe a little more polish here and there would make things sound less cluttered and more balanced. 

In saying that, I am in firm belief that good song-writing can overcome anything in music. Also, I'm sure that these songs sound much better in a live environment. When you're a band that is as wild and as intense as Novacrow, it can be difficult to fully represent that in the recording process. So the only way to get a true idea of how these songs should sound, perhaps a live setting would be better. I am definitely enjoying the new EP. Once again they have made a fun, engaging collection of tunes that really show off their style and charisma. What I am recommending is getting yourself to one of their shows as their music is so much more enjoyable in that setting, in my opinion at least.


Popular posts from this blog

Gig Report: HRH C.R.O.W.S. - Saturday

This was such a special weekend for me. When I was a kid I was born and bred on country and rock music. I've always had that love for the southern rock tone. The twang of the guitar and drawl of the vocals, it just always sounded so nice to me. For me this is one style of music you can't fake. There has to be sincerity and soul to the music, otherwise you come off as a poser and it just doesn't work. So, when I heard that Hard Rock Hell were putting on a weekend dedicated to outlaw country and southern rock, I immediately knew I was going to be there. I will say, this has to be one of the strongest HRH weekends I've ever been to in terms of performances, there wasn't a weak or boring band all weekend. Every band and artist had their own style and brought their A-game to the show. The crowd was lively and up for a great weekend of music. Unfortunately I couldn't get around to seeing every band, so I apologise if I miss the odd band here and there but I am only o…

Album Review: Tantric - Mercury Retrograde

I can not tell you how incredibly excited I am to finally talk about this album. Tantric has been my favourite band since I was a little kid. They were the first band that I ever really connected with on an emotional level. So, after four years of waiting, they have finally put out their new album, Mercury Retrograde. As soon as I saw that this album was coming out I knew that I had to have it and yes, I have pre-ordered it. So imagine the glee in my soul when I was provided with a pre-release review copy of the album. (Big thanks to the band, label and their management for that!) Now they're back with a new album, they have a new line-up with frontman, Hugo Ferreira as the sole original member. The new musicians brought in for this record are Troy Patrick Farrell on drums, Jaron Gulino on bass and Sebastian Labar on guitar. I think they gel rather well together as a unit. This album has more of a straightforward rock feel to it. It sounds like the lyrical ideas from the second al…

Gig Report: Bigfoot @ Manchester Rebellion

Another weekend and another night of rock music. To people who say that rock is dying, I'll say that you aren't looking for it. Bigfoot has been building up a decent fan base and if this Manchester show was anything to go by. A packed out Rebellion Bar was ready for some no-nonsense rock 'n' roll and rearing to go. I usually like Rebellion, it's a good place with a great sound system and bands usually sound their best on the stage, from my experience anyway. I've not had a chance to see Bigfoot live in a while. The last time I saw them was at Bloodstock in 2015 and ever since they kind of fallen off of my radar. However, I usually hear how good they are on stage and I finally had the chance to check them out. So, why the hell not? Also, there were two supports, so lots of opportunities to rock out.

Opening things up were rockers, Takeaway Thieves and I wasn't into them at all. Their guitar tone was all over the place and ruined a lot of the good melodies the…