THE NOVA HAWKS – Redemption
The British combo The Nova Hawks was quite the pleasant surprise to yours truly and presents something akin to a fiery mixture of (Northern) soul music, raw blues, and vintage hard rock. If you want hazy atmospheres and fuzzy riffs as well as bluesy licks that are rather infectious and melodies that are like earworms, this intriguingly layered ten-track offering is just what you need. Is there such a thing as discreetly pushing musical boundaries? If so, this one might classify as just that in the sense that it manages to sound both modern and retro while simultaneously blending various traits and elements from different styles of music in an original manner.
The emotive vocals are great and without doubt the strong point of this exciting LP, and the warm, lively production suits the material nicely. There are more to "Redemption" than swampy atmospheres and sing-along choruses as evidenced by the tracks "Voodoo", "Dusty Heart", and "Witxh" – all of which are stellar compositions with a strangely hypnotic vibe and a thick dose of gloom to them. The only problem is that the album is slightly uneven and that some tunes are markedly better and more engaging than others, but there are no decidedly weak or forgettable pieces to be found here as such.
"Redemption" is one of the more original and musically adventurous Frontiers Records releases lately and totally worth checking out as it is an atmospheric and enjoyable listening experience.