Peterborough based Nova Status have planted a seed with their latest effort, “Infrared”. A three-track EP that takes a Punk inspired modern indie sound and combined with British angst and a whole wide range of influences and ideas. The four-piece have shown their true creativity and broad ideas as songwriters showcasing aggression and energy that is tastefully expressed in each track. Nova Status is a great new addition to the British scene and as fans up and down Britain embrace the bands’ live performance and indulge in this EP, it is not a doubt that Nova Status will be welcomed with open arms into peoples headphones and local stages.
We are introduced to Infrared by EP opener “Eclipse”. A velvety presence is stapled into place immediately over various guitar effects before being completed by the rhythm section placing accented notes very tastefully before the vocals take full presence in the track. The production quality becomes clear with a great balance of reverb placed on to the vocals and guitars compared to the dry rhythm sections, giving a forecast of harmony for the mix used in the three tracks on “Infrared”. The vocals enter then at an unforeseen rate, with fast pace spoken-word technique being used to deliver the lyrical message of dispart surrounding the current state of Britain. The poetic honest approach then transitions into a huge sounding catchy chorus with each member of the band complementing each other in the process. Although this is a lengthy opener and maybe not the easiest way to begin digesting the EP, Eclipse is no doubt a great opening track and sets the pace nicely to showcase just what Nova Status is capable of producing.
The title track is sandwiched between the opening and closing songs, a smart move from the band, highlighting the main message and key statement of the EP as the heart of the content. The title track is the true piece of art that summaries Nova Status. The opening bass line, soaked in Fuzz, creates great anticipation before the track is stepped another gear and the energy expands further. The aggression scattered in every note of this is entirely British and an entire breath of fresh air in the modern scene. The vocals sound so passionate and are intensely portrayed, the change from the almost rapped verses into the shouted chorus is so smooth. Furthermore when the hook enters the vocals sound so elegant and truly soar into the limelight and give such a fantastic pace and energy to the track adding the perfect praise to the never-ending dynamic variety. The concluding and middle eight sections of the track are executed and assembled with the same knowledge and precision as the rest of the track. In three minutes and thirty-nine seconds Nova Status have devised the perfect resume to show how broad their appeal is and the lengths their sound can reach.
Closer Anti-Zero is the weakest track of the three but by no means a bad track. The influence jumps out immediately, with Slaves being highlighted as the go-to guide for the writing for this song. The punk explosion in the instrumentation is a pleasure to hear and the thumping drums over the protest style vocals and intense chorus are sure to set any venue alight. The bridge of track features a very post-hardcore influenced feel with the drum breaks and fills being prominent over the heels thick chords. However the sections fail to develop and although the bridge starts well and has all the ingredients for a truly contrasting and gripping section, it becomes slightly bland relying on the repetition of the first few bars. The solo vocal chant then enters, setting the stage for a final chaotic end to the EP.
“Infrared” is a collection of modern ideas in every way. Each song has a unique identity and has displayed just what Nova Status is capable of. The band are a fantastic addition to the British scene and quite clearly hold their national identity close to their heart. The state of England is something that Nova Status can’t fix, but with their lyrical content and creative energetic music, the band is sure to staple their message into listeners’ minds. What the band can fix is how people listen to modern music and the state of local scenes. The punk attitude is clear in every song and with a direct heartfelt message in each track, the band is everything England needs for a modern Punk uprising. As the Refused predicted in 1998, this is the Shape of Punk to come.
Review by Rob Kent