Column: NOV3L’s “NON-FICTION” is a standout in the post-punk genre

Ryan Meyer, Opinions Writer

My album of choice lately has been “NON-FICTION” by the band NOV3L. The album came out on May 28th, shortly after I had discovered the band through Spotify’s “Post Punk 2k” playlist. The first song that really captured my attention was “NOTICE OF FORECLOSURE,” an almost spoken-word track with Strokes-like drums and a repetitive guitar playing a riff that is essentially perfect in its simplicity.

The track also features subtle horns, which is part of what makes this band so interesting. Brass is typically not something I find myself enjoying in rock music, as I am too enamored with the traditional two guitar, bass, drums and occasional keyboard lineup. NOV3L could be a band that leads me away from that, though, with a song like “FALLING IN LINE,” where a saxophone provides contemplation and development to bridges that may have felt underwhelming without it.

Common post punk touchpoints are evident on the record, even from the first song, “UNTOUCHABLE,” when the singer’s voice echoes that of Tom Verlaine’s. The guitars often do the same, but not ttoo often where the possible influence is glaringly clear. The staccato guitars of the chorus are incredibly catchy and show a tight and well-oiled band and are more modern than the oft-imitated dual guitars of “Marquee Moon.” The horns are apparent at the end of the song as lead instruments over manically-strummed guitar.

The band clearly follows a formula with their drum and bass beginnings of songs, but the predictability ends there. “STATUS” is a great example of this, an almost seven-minute song that begins like much of the other songs but ascends into an amazingly brooding jam at around 2:39 into the song. The reentry of the piano about a minute later solidifies this song as one of the best on the record. It’s subtle moments like this that sets this record apart from other modern post punk artists. These delightfully mysterious and dynamic couple of minutes lead into the album closer, the aforementioned “NOTICE OF FORECLOSURE,” which probably remains my favorite song on the album. It’s strangely danceable, which only adds to the charm of this wide-ranging record.

I don’t know much about NOV3L, and I haven’t listened to their first album yet, but their sophomore release features some solid post punk music with trebly guitars and instruments like piano and saxophone that do the band nothing but justice. “NON-FICTION” features some of my favorite songs of 2021 so far.

Ryan Meyer is a sophomore  journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]