Crunchy Guitars – Check! Modern Day Geek Obsessions – Check! Gorgeous Singer with a great voice – Check!
The first official E.P from Merseyside/Black Country Rockers Novacrow certainly has all the parts in place for impressing one’s set of hearing devices, and they do not disappoint here.
Opener ‘Fat Frog’ wastes no time in getting straight to work and treats us to a slice of late 80’s garage-grunge delight where within 30 seconds of listening you can tell this is a band which is very comfortable in its own skin and Kitty Synthetica’s vocals are an automatic giveaway that they’re prepared to have a lot of fun and not take themselves too seriously without falling into Spinal Tap territory. Following straight on is previous single ‘Fight the Horde’ which was supported by an amusing B-Movie Zombie inspired video and also the first real opportunity for Lead Guitarist John Skidmore to prove his chops with a quite intricate guitar solo. If you didn’t buy this at the time of its original release you’ve also missed out on its B-side ‘The Mantra’ which sadly doesn’t make an appearance here.
By the time that the title track ‘Black Syrup’ kicks in, Novacrow and in particular bassist Federico Spera & Drummer Torben Schmidt-Hansen, seriously find their groove here, bringing you a seedy number with lyrics to match which would provide the perfect sound-track to visiting to a private room in an adult club which lit up by infa-red light bulbs. Which clearly doesn’t go to plan if ‘Set In Stone’ is anything to go by sounding like one has been rejected by the venue and being kicked straight into a graveyard where terrible things are about to happen. Rounding off this release is the 82 second instrumental ‘Colourless’ which wouldn’t sound out of place to the end credits of a movie which I’m sure was the intention here given the previous themes displayed through. When it’s your turn to listen you will probably picture quite different scenario’s to the ones I’ve thought here, but it’s the sign of a great release when the music & lyrics can tell everyone a different story.
There’s only one major problem I have with Black Syrup which is that its simply just not long enough. Coming in just shy of twenty minutes if leaves you wanting more like a social smoker craving their next cigarette after ten pints. But if that was the plan then I have to say well played Novacrow, the full debut album really cannot come soon enough.