UK Blues Rock has needed an injection of Hammer Horror Glamour for a while now. We’ve all been thinking it. It took the Black Country based Nova Hawks to say it out loud and set about putting things right.
Over a stomping march of a beat, big haired beauties draw knives up high and swing axes in glorious technicolor silhouettes while the dirty blues guitar of Rex Roulette (his parents were Russian gamblers*) competes with the soulful wail of elemental forest priestess** Heather Leoni. She’s a force of nature that Heather. Blessed with a voice that could do gospel tinged blues. We should count our lucky stars she chose the rock and roll path. Kick arse bad girl rock and roll singers rejoice. We got a live one here.
Rex slings his guitar licks from the hip like it’s still ’76 and The Stones are late to the stage. Considering he was born with tiny dinosaur arms*** its even more impressive how he plays in the way accomplished rockers do when their guitar seems to just be an extension of their body.
This is the duos debut single. Whether they extend their band to have a permanent rhythm section or flesh out the sound with other classic blues rock tropes like keys or horns or backing of the myriad options remains to be seen. It’s like they’re a seedling right now. Two mighty ingredients and a direction. A truly authentic high end low life sound. Filthy guitars and celestial vocals are fantastic core ingredients. Add big hair, fangs and a bit of widescreen dark magic and I’d say we’re well on our way.
Just yesterday we were treated to the second single from the album. Redemption is a slow swamp crawl to the thud of footstep drums and and slip sliding guitar. It’s an unholy squall in all the very best ways of the tradition of da blues. The lyric video has a nice line in typographic choices while lightning strikes over small town churches and crows do crow stuff. It puts me in mind of Grace Potter on the night of an electrical storm or even, dare I say it? Heart’s Wilson sisters.
If you’re wondering where they fit in I’d say fans of Lucifer, Blues Pills, Baroness and St Jude would all find something to be enjoyed in this opening gambit. Thunder fans, Smoke Fairies followers, Robert Plant feeders. You know the types. They walk among us!
The album will get out into the world in February. It’ll be conjured directly to the smart phones of anyone with a wi-fi enabled Ouija Board****. The debut single is slated to be the records opening number. If the sleeve is to be believed they’re going to be right up my alley. A Sirens voice and an Axe Man. That’s your opening chapter. Read on if you dare do. That voodoo hoodoo? Don’t let it prevent you.
*I have no basis for this absurd claim
** There’s so little written about Nova Hawks I had to make some stuff up
*** Never miss the opportunity for a T-Rex joke
**** What can I tell you? I’m a terrible journalist with no regard for the facts.