Hitting the listener like a venomously swung sledgehammer in its first breath and proceeding to increase in hostility and brilliance from thereon in, Night Heaver simply blows thoughts and emotions away. The debut EP from British hard rock/metallers The NX, the four track onslaught is a dramatic and breath-taking introduction to a band sure to make a major impact on the UK music scene if their first trespass of the senses is any evidence.
Possibly the strength and quality of Night Heaver could be expected as The NX features former members of The Casino Brawl in its line-up; nothing is ever guaranteed though and the band swiftly show they are a unique and potential drenched proposition in their own right with the EP. Formed a few years ago in the north east of England, The NX soon bred a potent reputation and following as they proceeded to ignite venues with their live presence, which over the years has seen them play with the likes of The Chariot, This Is Hell, Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Penknife Lovelife, Heights, Yashin, Job for A Cowboy, The Casino Brawl, Deaf Havana, Devil Sold His Soul amongst many more. Returning from a prolonged hiatus, the band unleashed their creative fury again from the end of 2013, a new line up and appetite to create more contagiously aggressive shows and sounds driving the band’s return, which has included so far successful tours with Funeral For A Friend, Hacktivist, and The Blackout. It has all added to a growing anticipation for the band’s debut EP, and there is no doubt that Night Heaver feeds all hopes and wants with ease whilst providing much more.
Lonnie Johnson’s Greatest Hit is an immediate raging bellow in the ears but equally a compelling web of heavy rock grooves and spicy hooks with a tempestuous rhythmic incitement. Quite swiftly like a blend of Every Time I Die, Turbonegro, and Cancer Bats with its own distinctive roar, the track takes no prisoners. The venomous vocal squalls of Warby Warburton intrude and entice with rasping causticity whilst the spicy hooks and scorching grooves of Mark Thirtle seduce and scar with equal tenacity. There is also great unpredictability to the track which shines out, the sudden twists and dips into intriguing and at times sinister invention, mouth-watering and ear catching.
It is a potent start but personally just an appetiser for bigger and better things to come, starting with The Great Unwashed. The second track immediately has a dirty air to its breath and opening riffs, an antagonistic nature which is urged in by the great bassline cast by Glen Holmes and spread with intensity through the swiftly following blaze of guitar punctured by the viciously swung beats of drummer Luke Walker. Every syllable spat from Warburton comes with a soaking of malice, a rancor matched by the rest of the track though it too is unafraid to offer catchy hooks and anthemic vocal calls against the clanging steely tone of the guitars and an overall merciless ferocity.
Yet another plateau is breached with the following The Day It Rained Forever, the opening grouchy coaxing of another irresistible bassline aligning to thumping beats for the first potent bait from the song. Soon though it is prowling and seducing as great cantankerous vocals, which initially hold a sobering air, add their interest in proceedings before they are venting with rich malevolence amidst a web of tangy grooves and psychotic rhythmic enterprise. As hardcore punk as it is metallically infused, the song is a glorious maelstrom which twists and turns as if it has the creative mania of St. Vitus Dance. Equipped with a closing noise fostered chorus which is impossible to leave alone, the track is one big reason for suspecting The NX will take their history to new major climes.
It is a suspicion done no harm by the other songs and especially the raging Let Sleeping Dogs Lie which brings the EP to an immense close. In a way opening in similar fashion to how its predecessor parted, the track brawls and violates the senses with another hardcore bred ferocity and corrosive inventiveness. Every riff scowl and hostile vocal expression exhausts and smothers the senses which in turn are invigorated by an incitement of hard rock melodies and spiky hooks which erupt and surge from time to time across the ever evolving provocation.
The song is an outstanding end to a tremendous release, the kind of debut fans were hoping and delivering a startling and thrilling adventure which declares The NX as a new inescapable force in British rock ‘n’ roll.
The Night Heaver EP is available from February 23rd on EP and digitally via Footloose Records and all stores.
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