• James Shipsides

Tracks Of The Day: The Nova Fiends


Band: The Nova Fiends

Tracks: The Last Man/ never surprised

Genre/s: Lo-Fi/ Psychedelic-Rock/ Art-Rock/ Garage-Rock/ Alternative-Rock

⭐️Just a message for bands or artists before I start- Submissions of music to Theresa’s Sound World are now closed (unless of course, we’ve spoken) until January 2021. I’ll be taking a Winter-Hiatus in a month or so. Many thanks!

Today’s tracks of the day are from Lo-Fi, Psychedelic-Rock band, The Nova Fiends. This band are from Melbourne, Australia and blend Poppy-Psychedelic with dark and dirty experimentation. At the end of the text are links to a multitude of listening platforms. On with the review!

The Last Man: This tune has a thick wall of bass and noisy low, gnarly feedback guitar. The bass sound paired with the guitar has a dirty Rock and Punk sound. Although contemporary in it’s ambience, there are flavours of Black Sabbath, The Stooges, Death and MC5. Vocal wise, there are shrieks and little vocal stabs that have the unhinged (in a good way of course!) performer about them, that obviously goes hand in hand with The Stooges comparison.The vocals fire in like a discordant nursery rhyme, but there is an almost percussive rythmn to it. There’s an essence of the Beat Poets of old, maybe even some of the vocal deliveries of Kim Gordon in her Sonic Youth days. It’s one of those creative techniques that show this band are doing their own thing. With modern, mainstream music for example, there tends to be two main vocal deliveries; singing and rapping. However, The Nova Fiends do something very different, the vocal delivery challenges the listener and then gradually, the voice meshes with the music. Back to the nursery rhyme aspect- there’s a hint of the burnt-out Psychedelic artist here too. Syd Barrett and also Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The song is unhurried and I think that does it credit. The tone is brooding, sleazy, dark and paints unsettling mental pictures. The wordplay is fluid, some of the phrasing emotional, some surrealistic, it’s a good mix. The music suits the vocal patter and has at times, a really dirty Bluesy garage feel to it. When the vocals drop out there is a wall of guitar and bass with the funeral-like drum anchoring everything. It’s quite refreshing to hear a guitarist let themselves go without being too self-indulgent in a creative or technical way. The wailing guitar feedback, the fragmented solos at that plodding, somber tempo are reminiscent of a deconstructed Mudhoney, a ripped-to-bits Blue Cheer, a recently discovered, forgotten track by Beme Seed. What ‘The Last Man’ reminded me of though, it terms of an emotional response, was hearing ‘The End’ by The Doors for the first time. A longer song full of darkness and one that refuses to conform or pander to an audience. I found that once I’d listened to ‘The Last Man’, I wanted to explore it again.

never surprised: This Lo-Fi acoustic-driven tune is fast paced in direct contrast to ‘The Last Man’ and kicks in like Guided by Voices covering ‘Someone to love’ by Jefferson Airplane. The first vocals are a numerical count, it’s a simple hook of old; these count-ins or countdowns have been used for decades from anyone from The Coral to Man or Astroman?- but they serve a purpose. It’s anticipation of the tune kicking in ‘proper’. The main tune crashes in quickly and grabs the attention. Although Lo-Fi in its excecution, the percussive acoustic and the drums have a groove, almost verging on the bones of a 70s Disco track. The vocal patter is less poetic than ‘The Last Man’, more poppy in it’s delivery. There’s again, little 70s-style nuances, pinches of Glam Rock from T-Rex to The Sweet, but I also thought a feel of John Lydon’s caustic vocal-charm in his Sex Pistols’ days. The music too has a mashed-up Glam feel and has that allure of music that came before Glam (The Velvet Underground) and after. (The Fall, Wreckless Eric, Rain Parade) There’s a instrumental, really solid, percussive strumming and drumming part as tiny psychedelic electric guitar flourishes scratch in. The tune breaks and deconstructs, going on a different path- again Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd did this, pulling a tune away from itself and choosing a different musical direction. There’s a more singalong aspect to this part, essences again of Iggy and The Stooges and Lou Reed. However, the track is recorded and mixed to have an unsettling discordance as voices and music fly in, creating a dirty, psychedelic soundscape. One of the strengths of The Nova Fiends is that they create a poppy song with plenty of vocal and music hooks, but blend this with creative and bold ideas.⭐️

These tunes are available on several listening platforms. Click on your preferred link below:

🎼Listen to ‘The Last Man’ on:





🎼Listen to ‘never surprised’ on:





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