This is the album I’ve been looking forward to for a long time after a string of excellent singles from one of the UK’s top metal purveyors, Not Now Norman. Taylor had a voice that trumped many of his contemporaries and was on par with some of his musical heroes. The album opens with a short riff that also features a cockerel (not sure if it’s the real Norman or an impostor) and a siren that evokes the 70’s pop rock classic “Blockbuster” by Sweet. “Judas – RELOADED” features Zander’s block-rocking metal power chords and Taylor’s on fire vocals here. Lyrically it’s very good. We all love good”stick it your assa phrase to sing along with, right? The song is an update of the band’s 2020 EP song ‘The End Of The Day’. I was transported back to the classy 80s or 90s heavy rock with “What I Want”, while it is not a facsimile, it is also full of originality. This is a band that seems to be enjoying themselves and it shows in some of their songs, Notably, “Houston” may not be a very enjoyable song lyrically, but to me, it just has good vibes. There are several guitar parts underlying the track that are reminiscent of Slade at his peak. “WHO ARE YOU” is probably Evanescence influenced and Taylor’s voice definitely compares to Amy Lee here. The purity and harmony of the sound is reminiscent of Karen Carpenter’s hard rock. The 2022 single “Save Me” is a song about how humanity is destroying our planet and was inspired by the Australian bushfires and the COP26 talk shop that ultimately came to nothing. (Same as COP 27) This is a heartfelt message to mankind, especially the younger generation to do something. The riffs are taken straight from the heavy metal Valhalla and Taylor’s vocal performance is once again passionate, emotional, and simply stunning. On top of that, the whole band is in top form. The lyrics are simple but so powerful, how could anyone ignore words like “Save me from our destiny. Save me from the time, where everything around us dies“
If Adele wants to do a decent rock cover to expand her style, she should consider Not Now Norman’s “Chasing Rainbows” and perhaps her Not Now Norman to back it up. This is a sublime rock ballad filled with emotion and soul. One of the heaviest songs on the album is probably “RE-INTRODUCING” where Taylor resonates with Janis Joplin. “Egocentric” has a distinct advantage considering the counter-backing vocals from Scarred By Truth. The latter is a rather ace assemblage of artists from the North East of England, which is also where I think the secret lair of Not Now Norman resides. “Little Frankenstein – The Franken Lee Remix” takes the 2019 original into a heavy, riff-laden experience and it makes an already good song great! The slightly cool “Little Cheryl” has a real old school vibe with a catchy chorus. Reminiscent perhaps of the Go-Gos with its pop hooks and punchy melodies, Speaking of a chorus to die for, “Shut Your Mouth” is in the club too, it’s a complete metal banger. The music has a classic ’70s hard rock feel with Thin Lizzy and Nazareth overtones, and guitar solos scream Ritchie Blackmore’s at their peak. Once again Taylor’s vocals added the icing on the cake. The album ends with a remake of the title track from their 2020 EP, “End Of The Day -RELOADED”, and what a way to end this great album. There is no filler in this collection, every song is amazing and leaves me with no choice but to play the album over and over again. Get this band in your lughole now and you’ll have no choice but to become Norminion!
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