Album review by KevW
If you're going to have a gap of a few years between your last album and its follow-up, you'd better have a darn good reason why. Acceptable excuses include illness/inter-band tensions, line-up changes and so on; a drive for perfection that means you won't cease recording and mixing until the thing is stupendously good; wanting to maintain a mystique whilst keeping your fingers in other musical pies; or needing to raise funds to set the wheels in motion again. Non-acceptable reasons include Guns N' Roses. So why the wait for the new one from London pair Deathline? Listening to 'NOVA' tells us they're not short on the decent tune front, so the GNR theory is a no-goer, the most likely explanation comes in this quote from an interview we did with them recently. "Things usually happen slowly and it's organic. We don't really write in the conventional sense - we have little bits of ideas and glue the musical bits together till they start making sense."
Relocating to LA to lay down much of the album will also have consumed time, but it would appear that the working methods Deathline use involve gradually piecing the sound segments in their heads into coherent and exemplary songs. It's our guess that it's the perfectionist nature of the band, along with a willingness to take time to express the sounds and ideas properly that's kept us waiting. Whether or not the wait is worth it? Well that depends on what they've got for us to hear. For a band who've sometimes seemed a little one dimensional, despite their love of various genres, 'NOVA' is an album with magnificent attention to detail and a surprising amount of depth. They've pushed the boat out, taken the necessary time and hoped this would bring them the winning formula. Well it's not just a podium finish, this is a gold medal worthy album.
The pulsing 'Ten Of Clubs' we already know and we already like, but they surpass it many times with their mixture of electro-rock, punk, surf, garage and modern individual experimenting. This doesn't feel like a conventional album, more a retrospective career best-of, you'll be hard pushed to find much that's below par. If we had to select a few highlights for you to dip in to before taking the headfirst plunge with a purchase (highly recommended by the way) then let us point you in the way of the awesome cosmic trip of 'Return', the psychedelic flashback of 'Warm Leather', the furious barrage of 'Surrender Monkey' and the luscious textures and visceral power of the title-track. Basically, 'NOVA' sounds like an album full of singles, and if it takes them a few years to make another record of this quality then you won't hear any complaints from this end.
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