This is an album I was looking forward to for quite a while after a string of stonkingly good singles from one of the UK’s finest purveyors of metal music, Not Now Norman. Taylor has a voice that knocks the spots off many of her contemporaries and is comparable to some of her musical heroes. The album opens with a short riff fest that also features a cockerel (not sure if it is the actual Norman or an imposter) and a siren which evokes the 70s pop rock classic “Blockbuster” by the Sweet. “Judas – RELOADED” showcases Zander’s block-rocking metal power chords and Taylor’s vocals are on fire here. Lyrically this is supremely good. We all love a good “stick it up your ass” phrase to sing along to, don’t we? The song is an updated take on the track from the band’s 2020 EP ‘The End Of The Day’. I am taken back to classy 80s or 90s heavy rock with “What I Want”, although this is not a facsimile, it burst with originality too. This is a band that seems to enjoy themselves and that is apparent in some of their songs, Notably, “Houston” it might not be a happy tune lyrically, but for me, it just has a good vibe. There are some guitar parts that underly the track that are reminiscent of Slade at their peak. “WHO ARE YOU” may be influenced by Evanescence and Taylor’s voice can certainly be compared to Amy Lee here. The pureness and harmonics of that voice come across like a hard rock Karen Carpenter. 2022 single “Save Me” It is a song about how humanity is destroying our planet and was inspired by the Australian wildfires and the talking shop of COP26 that ultimately achieved nothing. (Just the same as COP 27) It is a heartfelt message to humanity, especially the younger generation to do something. The riffs are drawn directly from heavy metal Valhalla and Taylor’s vocal performance once again is passionate, emotional, and in a nutshell fucking awesome. Added to that the whole band is at peak performance. The lyrics are simple but so very powerful, how can anyone ignore words like “Save me from our destiny. Save me from a time, where everything around us dies“
If Adele wanted to cover a decent rock song to expand her style she should consider Not Now Norman‘s “Chasing Rainbows” and perhaps her Not Now Norman to back her on it. This is a sublime rock ballad filled with emotion and soul. One of the heaviest tracks on the album is possibly “RE-INTRODUCING” in which Taylor conjures the spirit of Janis Joplin. “Egocentric” has a different edge given the counterpoint supporting vocal from Scarred By Truth. The latter is a collective of rather ace artists from the North East of England, which is also where I think Not Now Norman‘s secret lair is located. “Little Frankenstein – The Franken Lee Remix” takes the 2019 original into a much harder riff-laden heavy experience and it makes an already good song great! The rather spiffing “Little Cheryl” has a real old-school vibe with a chorus to die for. Maybe reminiscent of the Go-Gos with a strong pop hook and melody, Talking of a chorus to die for, “Shut Your Mouth” is in that club too, it is a fully-fledged metal banger. The music has a classic 70s hard rock feel with shades of Thin Lizzy and Nazareth, and a screaming guitar solo worthy of Ritchie Blackmore at his peak. Once again Taylor’s vocals put the icing on the cake. The album ends with a remake of the title track from their 2020 EP, “End Of The Day -RELOADED”, and what a way to sign off a great album this is. There is no filler on this collection, every track is superb and left me no option but to play the album again and again. Get this band in your lugholes now and you will have no option but to become a Norminion!
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