N0V3L – Falling In Line

I’m going to continuously post about these guys. The recent album NON-FICTION from N0V3L is a thoughtful, angular, and pointed critique. In hearing the full set, there is something wonderfully clinical in its approach. Bryce Cloghesy‘s production is clean and crisp, but with a detached ghostly edge that thoroughly aligns with vocalist/guitarist Jon Varley’s deadpan post-capitalist observations.

The new single “Falling In Line” continues their incisive dissection of the right now via a 40 year old post punk lens.

N0V3L – Group Disease

Sprung forth from Vancouver’s exhilarating Crack Cloud media collective, N0V3L‘s 2019 self-titled full-length debut established them as a savvy and stoic counterpoint to Crack Cloud’s more bombastic tendencies. Both pull from the same fabric of post punk sounds, but N0V3L lean more heavily into the domain of clean guitars, stark production, interlocking patterns, and introspective detached philosophical sketches that give nod to both Eno/Byrne and early Cure. This new single, Group Disease, seems to double down on the Seventeen Seconds-era Cure vibes. It’s totally welcome.

Their new album Non-Fiction will be available May 28 (Meat Machine) and is produced by Crack Cloud’s Bryce Cloghesy, A.K.A. Military Genius.

Crack Cloud – Live Leak

cover image of Crack Cloud - Live Leak

My current favorite post-punks, Crack Cloud, have a new live album out on Bandcamp. Comprised of takes from two 2019 sessions at KXLU radio in L.A. and BBC 6 in London, they cover a span of material from their two prior EPs and this past July’s excellent Pain Olympics. It’s far more raw in production and rocking than any of the studio recordings, with a significant bpm increase and a firmer leaning into the punk side of the equation. That revved up added muscle tends to obliterate any of the more nuanced melodic side that is present in some of the studio versions of these songs – enough so that this may not be the best entry point for new listeners – but combined with their incredible host of YouTube material and live clips, it firmly cements them as the one act that I’d most like to see in person when that time arrives again.