Review Summary: A promising debut EP from a Madison, Wisconsin psych/prog quartet.
As good old (and great) Sun Ra used to say, “space is the place”, and space is exactly where the Madison Wisconsin (and 4th dimension as they say) quartet Novagolde would like to locate their music.
As evidenced by their initial self-titled EP, their space definitely has a place and time it refers to, and that is the Nineties-era British greats, primarily Radiohead and Verve and their take on the Pink Floyd and Hawkwind explorations from the Seventies on. Of course, being inspired by somebody else’s music can turn into plain carbon copy throwaways, indicate progression to something your own, or something that already presents a new sound.
Novagolde, who these days seem to be spreading the spacey sounds through the American Midwest, at the moment seems to fall into that middle category - the four tracks that they recorded during the last few years and that they have arranged from the earliest to the latest, certainly show their progression and movement towards a sound their own.
It also shows that they are definitely not rushing things, as they seem to have paid painstaking attention to what they are releasing. This is the kind of music that needs exactly that attention. After all, moving through space does take time…
The opening “Chain Reaction” firmly locates them among the Radiohead fans, and there’s nothing wrong with that, as they do justice to that sound and musical concept. “Jail” certainly connects them to the Nineties musical ideas, as there’s a certain grunge variation to be heard, while “New Time I’ll Survive”, shows introduction of more prog ideas, something both Radiohead and Verve did, but Novagolde seem to be combining these ideas into something that is their own. “Bloodfall”, the last track on the EP, and the last track recorded as well, already shows a development of a more unique sound and an indication that Novagolde might be on a way of developing a sound truly their own.
An interesting and very promising EP, that does wear its inspirations on its sleeve but indicates that something of its own might be on its way.