The Novaks The Novaks

Finally, a band from Newfoundland with the potential to replace Great Big "boring” Sea as the default agents of rock from the Rock. There’s not a bad track on this 12-song debut, even though one of them ("I’ll Give You a Ring”) sounds a little more like the Stones’ "Street Fighting Man” than is probably legally advisable. Imagine the melodic, classic pop sensibilities of Sloan combined with the edgy grittiness of the Deadly Snakes, and you might have a rough idea of what sort of footing the Novaks set out on here. Whether knowingly diagnosed or not, vocalist Mick Davis is afflicted with a similarly-splendid nasal phrasing condition to that of fellow Atlantic coaster Joel Plaskett, whose symptomatic influence is long overdue. The consistent quality of the songwriting here is another thing the band share with the former Thrush Hermit front-man. So much of the current rock’n’roll posturing scene is just that, but the Novaks appear to have much more to their creative credit than the white belts might suggest. And when a band’s debut genuinely evokes the sorts of references name checked above, that can’t be a bad thing. Here’s hoping the group’s live show (scheduled to go across Canada in October) delivers on the promise of this studio effort. (Sonic)