Album Review: Novocaine 99 – No Control EP (New Music Friday Ep 5 winner)
Novocaine 99 finished with a strong showing in the New Music Friday contest a while back. Their music is challenging and exciting, it keeps you on your toes, and readers of our site will be happy to give this full album a spin. Complete with dark hues and crystal clear electric guitars, Novocaine offer a sound that is soul-searching and adventurous, but unadulterated rock.
The opening title track “No Control” has some heavy guitars and layers on the way to a welcome chromatic melody. There’s something about the chord progression that reminds me of several classic rock bands, yet there’s a clarity that feels more like a newer metal sound. When the power chords resonate over a plaintively delivered lead vocal, the sound really comes together. The existential crisis at the heart of the lyrics really fits the gloomy feeling of the music.
“Something New” keeps a grim, dimly lit feeling with the music and the lyrics. The vocal gets a bit more aggressive on this one, with band vocals providing a support that helps drive home the lead. As the guitars and rhythm section come together with the vocal, there’s a feeling of grief or maybe listlessness, but the exhortation to “keep on searching” seems to be the message of the entire EP. All here is not lost.
The final track “Silence” has yet another clear vocal that soars over uniquely captivating guitars. Although it might be harder than most of what we share on this site, the melodic chorus really makes the song resonate. It’s hard to put my finger on what makes the sound seem so “hard,” but the sound is introspective and reflective, supported by lyrics that do the same. The “magic on my pillow” lyric reminds me of the silence before sleep, confronting some of those personally awkward emotions, thoughts, and feelings. It’s a great insight into everyday life.
This short album provides a nice glimpse into an intriguing rock band. If you’re a fan of thoughtful, engaging mature rock music, you need to give Novocaine 99 a spin. This is not the party rock anthems you might hear at the bar on the weekend, but it’s still a type of rock that you want to take in and consider as a way to better understand the depth of purpose and self.