“It feels crass to call N0V3L a band—the word feels cumbersome and bloated with traditionalist connotations.” That is one of the substantial statements on the post-punk group’s Bandcamp page for their debut record Novel, more or less a self-titled work from what this reviewer could gather.
From the get-go, with “To Whom It May Concern”, they run you through the archetypes – simple, yet groovy riffs on the guitars, the bass hangin’ back like that quiet but universally cool guy in the corner, drums dominating the rhythm that seem to make something out of nothing, and harmonizing vocals that just hit the level of everything else around it. If you’re a Hawkwind fan, the same space-rock band that would give rise to Motörhead, you know what I mean. It’s a seemingly delicate architecture of symphony contrasting with the hard in-depth style that gives off a balanced atmosphere, demonstrated in “Why They”. Delightfully retro distortion and hard pacing is a staple, probably best seen in “Sign On The Line”. A tough and fast song, it cements their place as a punk band with a politically charged anthem as a means of fighting for how one should make use of their time. It all closes with the grand “Division”, possibly the crown jewel of the record shining all the unique elements together. Highly recommended for old-fashioned listeners looking for a new grind!