The Novaks The Novaks

When I was visiting the Calgary Stampede a few weeks back I found myself in a Beer Garden, listening to a cover band whose only care was to rock, in the truest sense of the word. Tenacious D stereotypes aside, this specific bar band knew intrinsically that there is nothing more auspiciously pleasing than a simple power chord. What they did not know was with some distortion, reverb and all-around muddiness in tow, it gets even better; in a nutshell, the Novaks. While the NME-influenced British rock mainstream has been efficaciously employing the same aesthetic as of late, the Novaks are one of the first home-grown acts that have truly been listening. The Maritime-based quartet is loud, raucous and proud of it; and their debut self-titled LP, released under the same umbrella that handles Matt Mays and Great Big Sea definitely reflects that bluesy, no-bullshit rock mantra. Heavy elements of the Strokes, the Black Keys and anything Pete Doherty-related jump through the Novaks, most noticeably on initial single "Goodbye Rock and Roll Band” and rowdy standout "If You Can Do It.” The latter is a drunken, noisy foray, exhibiting what bacchanalians do to power chords and dirty blues, while the single plays like a plea for the Stooges to get in touch with their sensitive side. Passionate enough to incite a bar brawl, yet endearing enough to clean up the mess afterwards. (Sonic)