One of the Nova Twins’ most vocal celeb supporters, guitarist Tom Morello, has a narrative he frequently tells in regards to the peculiar phenomenon of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave followers who merely refuse to imagine that he’s Black, even after he repeatedly tells them that his father is Kenyan. “I feel it disrupts the false narrative that music like mine can solely be made by individuals who appear to be them, ” he said to the Guardian last year.
It’s a topic addressed, extra forcefully, within the opening two tracks of the Nova Twins’ second album. “Look me within the face – say you’ve by no means met somebody like me, ” growls Antagonist. “You should buy your seems to be, however you’ll be able to’t change your genes – I’m a straight talker, fucking say what you imply, ” snaps Cleopatra, which declares the duo as “blacker than the leather-based that’s holding our boots collectively”.
From the tone of these songs, you get the impression that not everyone seems to be delighted by Nova Twins’ rise. Their debut album, Who Are the Ladies, was launched three weeks earlier than the primary UK lockdown, which ought to have spelled catastrophe, however, by the top of 2020, they have been choosing up awards and lobbying the Mobos to incorporate a rock/different class. Its follow-up has been heralded by cowl options within the sort of specialist rock magazines that very seldom put girls of color on their cowl.
If, as Antagonist and Cleopatra recommend, there are individuals on the market carping that this all smacks of particular pleading and deploying the phrase “woke agenda” within the course of, their second album does an exceptionally good job of demolishing their argument. Nova Twins’ success has come accompanied by a variety of discuss smashing glass ceilings and altering perceptions, however, on purely musical phrases, Supernova could be a vastly thrilling album no matter who made it. Its songs are available fizzing three-minute bursts. Of their letter to the Mobos, Amy Love and Georgia South described themselves as “two blended race women who shout by way of distorted mics and play gnarly bass riffs”, which is snappy, however drastically undersells the sharpness and concision of their songwriting and the way kaleidoscopic their sound truly is.
At coronary heart, the music on Supernova exists within the centre of the punk/metallic/onerous rock Venn diagram. You’ll be able to hear the duo’s love of nu-metal: on A Darkish Place for Someplace Stunning, vocals shift from menacing purr to a formidable rap stream to raw-throated depth. There’s a definite echo of Morello’s effects-laden inventiveness in Amy Love’s guitar enjoying, and a whisper of Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir in regards to the strings on Enemy. However throughout its 12 tracks you additionally catch glimpses of the Prodigy’s rave-punk hybrid, EDM’s fizzing digital tones, the horrorcore hip-hop of Gravediggaz and Three 6 Mafia, the Bomb Squad’s teeming, edge-of-chaos manufacturing fashion, home music – there’s a definite dancefloor pulse audible on Toolbox and Select Your Fighter – and R&B: KMB options what seems like a deliberate nod in direction of the staccato melodies of Future’s Baby circa Jumpin’ Jumpin’.
Higher but, this array of influences by no means feels pressured or crowbarred collectively. It’s blended into a very coherent and authentically highly effective fashion anchored by South’s bass, at all times dense with distortion, regularly switching between grungy riffing and swooping and arcing round Love’s guitar in a manner that recollects the underside finish of a dubstep monitor.
The lyrics, in the meantime, are actually good, swaggering in time-honoured hip-hop fashion, excoriating racism and sexism with real wit: “Your girlfriend moshes to our exhibits, ” snaps Enemy, including, “she’s solely dishonest as a result of it’s getting stale at residence.” Actually, the lyrics are genuinely humorous all through. KMB offers with enacting murderous fantasies on an unlucky boyfriend with a glee that recollects the horror-comic Ramones of Chainsaw or Teenage Lobotomy: “I feel I’ll sit right here and watch his blood dry … he’s a bit of mind useless so he can’t comply.” Should you needed to, you possibly can hint the roots of Puzzles’ verses again no less than 100 years, to Mississippi John Damage’s Sweet Man Blues. However in contrast to the protagonist of that music, whose “massive sweet stick” was apparently 9 inches lengthy and overwhelmingly magnetic to the women, any potential sweet males who hove into the Nova Twins’ view are suggested that their attract comes with phrases and situations hooked up – normal: “Once I say leap, you say when” and extra particular: “He solely will get a call-back if he’s good at giving head.”
It waits till its closing monitor to dial the aggression down a contact, though Sleep Paralysis sounds just like the work of individuals torn between displaying off their pop abilities and making a scourging racket, and deciding to do each directly. The refrain is disrupted by a noise that would have come from the extra nerve-jangling finish of left-field electronica, a final aural middle-finger on an album that’s creative, indignant, witty, unique and fairly irresistible. Supernova is a riot of its personal.
This week Alexis listened to
Lynks – Good Human Specimen
This “Masked drag monster” – their phrase – offers sharp beats, sensible lyrics, prompt sunshine.