Review: Novakain – Nature’s Candy (released February 13, 2016)
Hailing from Fortworth Texas, Novakain are Dylan Kain (bass, lead and backing vocals), Kyle Kain (guitars, backing and lead vocals) and John Bereuter (drums, percussion, and backing vocals). Together, they stir up a spicy brew of 70’s style boogie rock like ZZ Top, with a heavy infusion of late 90’s style stoner rock such as Fu Manchu, along with elements of funk, southern rock, and psychedelia. It's all thrown into the blend and whipped up into their own brand of boiling hot rock n’ roll.
Nature’s Candy is the band’s second album, although their first release, Organic Purple was a “demo album” recorded live on the floor. Four of the eight songs are re-recorded for Nature’s Candy, including the opening cut, Mother Nature’s Tree, a foot stomping traditional rocker with a particularly catchy chorus. Deliver the Message delivers indeed, with some exhilarating call and response vocals over raunchy, bluesy riffing. Friend or Foe treads deeply into Led Zeppelin territory, with trippy feedback freakouts and heavy riffs. This is the one track where Kyle Kain takes the lead vocals, and his heavily reverbed voice even has a decidedly Robert Plantian vibe to it. Kyle Kain piles on the dirty guitar riffs and wild, echoing solos on songs like Little Bit Strange and Listen to What Your Momma Said, more traditional sounding rockers, but then suddenly the band can turn around and pull off something like the much more eccentric, mid-tempo track Peace, Love and Harmony. Dylan Kain’s deliciously slinky bass playing and John Bereuter’s creative drumming are standouts on this track. After the slightly punky That Water, the album closes with the anthemic blues rocker This Is It.
Nature’s Candy is well produced, without going overboard. The music sounds great, but still has a ragged, gritty edge to it, as all good rock n’ roll should. And while the psychedelic elements may be a bit low key, the album makes up for it in pure, driving energy. Rock n’ Roll lives on with Novakain.