1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 198

Who Are The Girls?, by Nova Twins
Suggested by Luke Kay

According to legend, the Vauxhall Nova did not sell well in Spain.

At first, the company was stumped. The nippy little car was a fine seller across much of the globe, but in Madrid, and Barcelona? Not so much. The auto industry wracked their brains, searching for an explanation, until finally someone realised that, in Spanish, “no va” means “won’t go.”

Unfortunately, the majority of what I’ve written above is untrue. It’s an urban legend, debunked by Snopes as all the best ones are. The Spanish people understand the importance of the space between two words. “Nova” is not “no va,” after all.

Of course, there’s no reason to let the pesky truth get in the way of a good narrative, as recent political events clearly demonstrate, so I’m keeping my intro regardless. And either way, the Nova Twins are more than capable of going, and going hard.

Formed in London in 2014, the Nova Twins are a frenetic and stylish Rock due comprising of the incalculably youthful Amy Love (vocals and guitar) and Georgia South (bass and keyboards). After a slew of well-received EPs, Who Are The Girls? Is their maiden album release. It’s punk, it’s grime, it’s an urban rave, and it’s definitely cool.

The opening track, Vortex, has an almost Prodigy feel, with a swirling keyboard billowing around the powerful bass and angry vocal. It peaks high and troughs low, with smooth spaces left for melodic breaks in the maelstrom. Play Fair starts in a similar vein, but quickly strips back into a bass-and-vocal verse that builds into a rocking and screaming chorus. In my standout track Taxi, we’ve a driven synth bass and some breathy vocals that explode upwards to a more desperate chant, along with Intergalactic robotic voices and an oddly pleasing cowbell.

It’s abundantly clear that the duo are bringing their A Game, as they ooze a direct attitude that’s easy to embrace. Everything is given full attention, played at 110%, with a vigour that makes my old bones ache in appreciation. There’s something playfully empowering about their sound, likely springing from the emotive and expressive vocal stylings. There’s a slice of Babymetal here, as well as Korn, and even the Spice Girls, if the Spice Girls had appended the phrase “Girl Power” with the word “Tools” and started drilling into the skulls of the audience.

Strangely, for me, this slight sheen of manufactured Girl Band Chic, bolstered by their strong and colourful image on promotional materials, is what eventually gives me pause in my effusive praise. They seem a little too polished and precise in their overall product, as if their spines are held up with a stick supplied by the Marketing Department. Who knows, maybe they’re still finding their style… they’re so young, after all.

In the end, I give the Nova Twins 6/10. What starts off exciting and fresh loses a little power as the album progresses, and there’s a few slower tracks which were not to my taste (I’m looking at you, Ivory Tower). Nevertheless, despite these reservations, I’m keen to see how they develop. They’ve established they can go, but where will they go next?

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