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ALBUM REVIEW: Nova Twins – Who Are The Girls?

Nova Twins 2019

The future is now, and the future is quite frankly, terrible. 2020 is already off to the weirdest and most horrifying start and there’s probably zero chance that’s going to change this decade. Understanding this, Nova Twins have decided to import their sound from the year 2120 and funnel it into Who Are The Girls?, an album that can only be described as a futuristic sonic fistfight, and potentially, the best album you’ll listen to this decade.

Oh yes, we’re two months in, but it’ll take some record to dislodge this over the next ten years. That and the world will end in like, two months, and you’d reasonably assume it’d be hard to find a decent recording studio in the arid, charred wasteland.

From the off, it’s hard to pin the sound of Nova Twins down. They sound a little bit like one of the other stellar releases in 2020, PENGSHUi’s self titled, but with a little bit more grunt. It’s kind of like punk but with a modern snarl to it, think somewhere along Ho99o9’s lines. The girls take a lot of inspiration from every corner of music’s rich tapestry, from N.E.R.D to Betty Davis. Further to that, they also take their cues from The Prodigy, and that’s probably the band you’ll hear the most of on this record. Well, kind of, at times it sounds like The Prodigy being played inside an agitated hornet’s nest.

What’s most impressive is how their sound comes to be. It’s pretty much guitars, basses, channelled through a mysterious array of pedals to create something truly wonderful. It’s overawing, aggressive but incredibly polished and a level of sonic indulgence that you’ve never experienced before. Think about being put through a burning table in the middle of Harrods, or smashing a pool cue over the back of James Bond’s head; it’s an absolute riot of an album, but with a mirror smooth finish. You’re shaken, not stirred.

With that in mind, and experiencing the level of their talents first hand, it’s absolutely no surprise they’re signed to Fever 333’s 333 Wreckords label, and have supported Wolf Alice, Ho99o9, Prophets Of Rage and punk legends Skunk Anansie. Buddy, if it’s good enough for Skin, it’s more than good enough for you.

Album highlights? Forget about it, pal! This album’s a highlight and then some. Right from album opener Vortex, you’re taken on a sonic journey that only ends when Amy Love and Georgia South decide. You wanna get off halfway through? Nuh-uh, “you’re in the Vortex now.”

Upon the opening of the album, you know how you can feel a thunderstorm brewing? The sky gets a bit darker, the air gets a bit thicker, and the thunder starts to roll towards you. A cool, flowing bassline starts layering, growing, distorting, fuzzing, before a ganged, growing and relentless shout of “we’re on the doorstep now” lets the floodgates open into a punching attack. They’re on the doorstep, yes, but don’t bother getting the door, because they’ll just blow it straight off.

Who Are The Girls? gets its name from Amy & Georgia never seeing anyone who looked like them at the shows they’d attend. With that, they had to “work out our own identities within music because we never had a reflection,” in Georgia’s words. A completely blank canvas can be daunting, but every brush stroke has created a masterpiece. Hopefully, with their unique sound doubtlessly taking them to dizzy heights, more girls over the world like Amy & Georgia will see Nova Twins and pick up their own brush and get creating. Good music should be good music regardless of identity, but hopefully this opens a few more doors for a more diverse range of acts.

The lyrical theme reflects their identity too, with tracks like Bullet summarising the modern experience with “Who the fuck you calling? // I’m that girl you couldn’t get and now you hate me for it // I’m not asking for it // Don’t you ever touch my hair unless you’re paid to cut it.”

This album’s incredibly hard to put into words, by the sheer virtue that it needs to be listened to for you to believe it. You can sit reading this review and mulling whether you should pick up a copy of this album or you can just go and listen to it.

Though this album should be consumed in its entirety, you will find yourself going back to Taxi, Undertaker and Athena time and time again. Though the album is a highlight, album closer Athena is probably the best track on the album, which neatly sums up Nova Twins in less than four minutes. The track starts with a sound that can’t possibly be coming from a guitar, and compared to what you usually experience, it’s a gentle start. But then, all hell breaks loose with a big, fat, fuzzy riff. The highlight of the highlight is about two minutes in, the song slides to a halt, with the bass growing, creeping, like a spider, picking up a little bit of pace, a little bit more pace, before blowing back into that big, fuzzy, riff.

Who Are The Girls? feels like a watershed moment for music, the splitting of the atoms, the sonic explosion that births a new genre. Novacore sounds appropriate. Supernovacore, even, because this album’s like the explosion of one. Hopefully this band continue to volley the status quo for many years to come, razing halls, academies and arenas to the ground, but even if they don’t, let them be forever remembered as starting a genre with limitless possibilities.

10/10

Standout Tracks: Athena, Undertaker, Taxi

For Fans Of: The Prodigy, Ho99o9, the sonic recreation of the end of the world

Written by: Oliver Butler

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