Not Now Norman’s latest album is a treasure chest of neat ideas, performances, attitudes, and musical sensibilities.
This album is a product of the Berwick-upon-Tweed based band, Not Now Norman. At its core, this band is formed by an epic father-daughter duo of Zander Brown and Taylor-Grace. This eccentric relationship is responsible for some truly exceptional riffs and moments on this album. Heavy riffs, crazy, upfront vocals, solid, powerful grooves, and an ocean of attitude are a few of the things you can expect to find throughout this album, along with fantastic, pristine production.
Starting with an understated, short instrumental, Norman’s Calling kicks things off with a blaring siren, on top of a serious, driving riff, following a massive bass and beat intro. Judas introduces another major aspect of this album, outstanding guitar solos. Following a song packed with musical, cool riffs, Zander hits with an inspired solo. Tasty phrasing, ballsy, fitting tone, and an outstanding feel make this solo an easy match for Taylor’s gutsy and confident singing. What I Want has a delightful major tonality, giving this song a driving and optimistic vibe. With an epically tracked vocal part that’s layered, rich, and very empowering, this song introduces us to yet another face of this band, one that’s melodic and entertaining through positive vibes. Save Me has a dark riff, foreboding atmosphere, and slow-paced beats, delivered with heavy hands. A melodic chorus calls to mind the finest 80s power ballads, with more fantastic vocals, crystal clear production, and delicious soloing. An upward modulation near the end provides a lift that I never knew I needed until it happened.
Chasing Rainbows has an eccentric, sparkling rhythm guitar part that quirkily suits the song’s melancholic composition. The minimal composition, which opts to focus on rich lyrical choices and an emotional delivery of the parts, recalls classic rock ballads with fantastic efficiency. RE-INTRODUCING is notable mainly for an outstanding vocal part that boasts incredible power and intensity. Taylor’s voice easily outshines the rest of the arrangements on more than a few occasions, but never as effortlessly as it does here, which is a shame, as the Tom Morello inspired solo deserves a longer moment in the limelight. Little Frankenstein, like its namesake, has a descending riff that’s eerie and dark. Quite inventive and interesting to go with the personal sounding lyrics. Little Cheryl gives a taste of What Not Now Norman could sound like if they injected a little Pop fun into their formula, with its fun, jumpy riffs, and upbeat attitude. Perhaps the star that shines the brightest throughout the whole album is the gorgeous production. Solid performances all over the board are given a fantastic chance to shine and show off on every single song on here, with each instrument given ample space to move, and then placed properly within the mix, for simply delightful results.
A fan of traditional rock or not, there is no escaping the basic fact that Not Now Norman’s last album is a truly masterful product from consummate, passionate professionals. Taylor-Grace effortlessly shines, and proves all her doubters incredibly wrong, as she howls and wails her way gorgeously through this rich collection of driving, rock epicness.