The Nova Collective have arrived people, remember that name cos this shit just got real! Their debut album The Further Side is a blistering attack on the senses, a cacophony of notes, runs and fills coming at you like a runaway train. There’s no escaping what you’ve got yourself into here, this album should have been called Shock & Awe! Right from the off you’re dragged kicking and screaming with the guys through each pounding drumbeat and blistering run. The album opener ‘Dancing Machines’ just wets the appetite for what’s to come, by wet I mean leaves you drooling in appreciation. You get a bit of everything within one track, jazz-fusion, rock, instrumental opulence and masterful control, it’s a violent barrage on the senses.
Now let me take the time to explain, Nova Collective will not be for everyone, a bit like marmite- you’re gonna love it or hate it! Richard, Dan, Pete and Matt are musicians’ musicians, by that I mean if you are a guitarist, a drummer, a bassist, fuck if you’ve picked up a recorder and played 3 Blind Mice you gotta listen to this shit! What you get here is a blistering array of musical perfection rolled into 6 rhythmic and symphonic journeys. I have to admit the transition to listening and appreciating the likes of Nova Collective for me comes from my love of instrumentalists like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen. I grew up on Tony McAlpine and Jason Becker and lived to hear Paul Gilbert run across that fretboard leaving a flurry of blurred notes in his wake. In a similar vein, the Nova Collective tease the senses with a sublime series of performances that are simply breath-taking. You get a musical education across the 6 tracks as they touch on and combine so many musical styles. It’s a powerful display from the boys, not for the faint hearted with thumping double bass drums and wailing guitar runs, overlaying melodic clean guitar backing tracks and piano.
A battery of styles and fusions throughout, you can only sit back in wonderment at what has been created here. Each track feels like there’s a track within a track, bouncing franticly between different layers, meshing them all together beautifully until its all over and your sitting there holding yourself asking “What just happened?” “Where’s my mommy” or “ I wanna go home”. But you are home, sitting there in your underpants crying about why you didn’t stick with the guitar or bass or drums, or why 3 Blind Mice seems so hard to play now. Nova Collective did that to you, maybe in time this album will come with a health warning, whatever you do don’t let your kids hear this album, it’ll scare the shit outta them. But maybe it’s a healthy kinda fear.
If you’re cahones are big enough to handle ‘The Further Side’ then step on up, take a slice but don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Shock & Awe people – Shock & Awe.
Nova Collective release The Further Side on March 10th Via Metal Blade Records
Nova Collective is:
Richard Henshall – Guitar
Dan Briggs – Bass
Pete Jones – Keyboards
Matt Lynch – Drums