Hey there, Harry Potter aficionados! New Baltimore-based rock band, Nobody Likes Neville, is calling your out on the lack of love shown for their namesake: Neville Longbottom. Its self-titled seven song EP, released digitally on January 28 (and now physically as well), is a combined effort by Brad Cox (of Skitzo Calypso/We Love The Underground), Chase Elkins, Dan McCullough and Eric McCullough. Together they’ve crafted an introduction to the band that is ominous, thoughtful, and unabashedly in your face.
I miss albums with great openers. I don’t simply mean great songs that kick a release off in the right direction, but instrumental lead-ins that help scale up the atmosphere for the next song. “Pheonix” is one such beauty, building the music up, seemingly from a fog that’s rolling in from the bay. We’re serenaded with subtle acoustic guitars, followed by a haunting melody which soars off electrified strings, then encased with the soft touch from a pianist. But not in a way that you’ll need to inform the authorities. It’s a wonderful transition to “Constellations”, which changes the EP’s direction with its warped melody lines and crunching guitars. Two of my favorite tracks follow: the heavy rocker “Collider” where Elkins goes into a double bass frenzy, as well as the ballad – or as close as this release gets – “Killer On The Run”, featuring a solo by Eric McCullough that melts just about everything in its way.
Cox is responsible for all the lyrics on the album, as well as the vocal melodies, while Elkins and the McCullough brothers created the music. Lyrically, this is very much an album of relationships, struggles, and potential. I personally thought “Scarlet”, a play on the Scarlet Letter, was well done and touches on a subject I hadn’t heard music venture into before. Even the love songs are written in such a way that keep them feeling far from generic, and each song comes across filled with passion. For those unfamiliar with Cox’s voice, it provides the instrumental accompaniment a unique partner and the two will be a pair you’re not soon to forget.
Also check out: Interview with Brad Cox (8/17/13)
While not dealing with in any real way with J.K. Rowling, this EP nonetheless makes a powerful point. What would that be, you ask? Quite simply, that you should take notice of Nobody Likes Neville now, not several albums down the road when all the fan girls are fawning over their good looks. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for the next chapter.