The soundtrack for your next “Disco Sucks” rally

Things Fall Apart
The Novaks‘ debt to ’70s rock is so obvious, it feels a little silly even bothering to point it out. Almost everything on Things Fall Apart sounds like it was intended for Ford-era arenas: “Destroyer” features lumbering, Zeppelin-esque guitar riffs, while “Sometimes I Gotta Go Down” is a blues vamp that resembles late John Lennon. Meanwhile, the organ-drenched rocker “Under Those Wheels” sounds so much like Tom Petty that it could have probably been slotted into one of his albums and nobody would have noticed the difference. This is especially apparent because of singer Mick Davis’s nasal vocals, which sound near-identical to Petty’s.

Things Fall Apart is a fun listen, but at times it does feel a little like a pastiche. In that sense, the Newfoundland trio has more in common with Wolfmother or Jet than with actual ’70s rock. (But let’s give the Novaks their due—they’re infinitely less stupid than Jet.)

The best song on the album is the one that is least indebted to the ’70s: “There Goes the Night” is laced with daydream guitar licks and moody melodies that recall ’90s alt-rock. The lyrics display a biting wit not found elsewhere on the record, including a hilarious jab at “Some little shit with a picture phone.” It shows that there’s more to the Novaks than just a retro retread. And, so long as the Who are charging $100 a ticket for energy-sapped reunion tours, the Novaks are probably the better choice to fulfill your classic rock craving.

But band shot a video for “There Goes the Night,” although I must admit I’m not quite sure what the make of the weird underground art space/corporate/police raid storyline. Regardless, it looks pretty cool, and the song alone makes it worthwhile viewing.

Things Fall Apart is out now via Sonic Records.
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