Bradley Killeen (vocals/guitar), Brandon Pineda (guitar), Jacob Cano (bass) and David Manj (drums) are Novena. The band formed during the end of their high school days and released a self-titled DIY album Novena.
The band shows some potential with these songs which have familiarity to them. Their songs are fairly basic sounding rock songs with a myriad of different influences ranging from emo to hardcore. The production is around demo quality. Suffice it to say that the song quality was good enough to maybe pass on to a record label but nowhere close to radio quality.
They open with “Wake-Up Call” which starts with a ringing phone before the band bursts onto the speakers. Killeen sputters out lyrics with an aggressive tone while the band goes into a start and stop verse. Up next is “Why? which contains some solid lead guitar and a good amount of energy while “Crash & Burn” was catchy enough to be a single.
“Rest” was a personal favorite. The guitar work was exceptional here and the rhythm section sounded tight and in the pocket. As the album progresses the band continues to have some success with “Ladies & Gentlemen” and “Lost Civilization.”
Novena has the sound of a younger band in a number of ways. The music has a general sound and they have yet to find their own niche. They will also have to get a better sounding recording at some point if they hope to be competitive with popular music in the same genre.
That being said the band has some potential. The vocalist has good range and they stay in the pocket. On top of that the songs were fairly catchy. At this point I’d say the band is one to keep your ears on. This is a solid start and the band falls into a category of wait and see,
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