Album: Noa Mal – Everything Is Science, Baby!

Relentlessly productive and always intriguing, bedroom grunge-pop music factory Noa Mal released this fuzzed up collection of 90s influenced indie-rock last year to the rapturous welcome of her growing cult following. Lo-fi in production and unrequiring of additional frills and production accoutrements, each of the songs on this collection offer a direct immediacy that is rich in melodic hooks. Vocally reminiscent of some lost 90s fuzzed-up indie collective but equally indebted to the naïve melodrama of the Shangri-Las, each song is driven by a shoegazey pop sensibility that never outstays its welcome. There’s real craft at play here which comes no doubt from the many hours spent tinkering in the home-recording realm.

The album is nominally about falling in love but it’s written from a detached, cynical perspective- these aren’t straightforward, heart on sleeve declarations of ardour. Vocals are often double tracked and hazy, they’re phrasing a grungey drawl – all youthful disdain and detachment. It works brilliantly. The electric guitars, on the edge sometimes of falling out of tune, are bashed percussively and the simple drum patterns push things along without ever going full thrash-mode. Indeed, the pace of these songs is often steady and smoke-clouded – a sense of stoned somnia hanging over everything. The guitar solos on TBH, IDRM almost veer into spacious, classic rock territory but with this strangely disjointed ambience underpinning everything. But mostly this is straight up grunge pop -enriched with cryptic, sardonic phrasing and beautifully narcotic vocals.

The title is designed to relay the central conceit of the album; that there is no mystery to life and love; there is no hidden depth to anything; it’s all just a set of specific logical or chemical responses- in short: everything is science, baby. This is a mightily depressing concept for the romantically inclined (though it’s one that closer listening proves the songwriter doesn’t wholly believe in either). Good job the album is such a pleasure to listen to all the same.

Available on cassette, vinyl and download from long-time workhorse of the independent world Galaxy Train. You know the physical media will be a beautiful thing indeed, the music itself is a delight.

Written by M.A Welsh (Misophone)