Novi Split Keep Moving

Given Death Cab For Cutie’s recent plug on The O.C., music fans shouldn’t be too surprised to hear a slew of gauche Ben Gibbard filchers popping up. Novi Split’s David J. may have been a DCFC fan before the mainstream accolades, but that's about all that he is: a fan. Novi Split shares a lot of their heroes' lineaments: fatalistic introspection, songs about failed relationships, and, endearingly, a keen sense of melody. But the good bits get bogged down by such clichéd doggerel that even J. himself is forced to laugh (see "The New Split” and "I Had You”). Until he finds a distinct identity for his band, J. will continue to sound more like a torpid video store clerk with singer-songwriter aspirations than a believable singer-songwriter. (Sunset Alliance)