For an album named after the activities of a certain little piggy going wee wee wee, Navacross’ full length LP “All the way home”, is quite devoid of nursery rhymes. Even in one of their gentler numbers, Clowns, vocalist, Dean Baker’s, gravelly vocals complain that “the world is run by a bunch of clowns”, hardly suitable subject material for singing children to sleep. Another track from the album which is incredibly gentle and soothing that probably would work well as a lullaby is, unfortunately, entitled Open Your Eyes, thus rendering it quite thematically unsuitable. Anyway, the point of this review isn’t to decide which songs would make good bedtime music or not, it is to tell you, gentle reader, why you should listen to it. And you should.
The album is a split between foot-stomping, rocking tunes and soothing, melodic, blues ballads. Album opener, Overload, sets a great tone for the whole record. A Rolling Stones-esque foot stomping, guitar led track with a catchy chorus, which like all the best chorus’ simply states “my brain’s on overload”. This does come across as something of a platitude, but nevertheless, it’s a catchy platitude. The second track, Secret Streets, surprisingly has a slightly gypsy-punk feel to it, in the vein of bands such as Gogol Bordello. This is also the band’s lead single from the album and, judging from their videos on their website, certainly would generate a whole lot of partying live. Despite it’s gypsy roots, it’s certainly very British lyrically, mentioning something about Waltham Abbey.
The longest track on the album, Steer, is by no means a bad song but is possibly slightly less of an instant hit than some of the other upbeat and immediately catchy tracks, such as penultimate number, Too Much. Steer feels like quite a lot of build up which never really get’s going, which is interesting when all of their other songs feel like they’re firing on all cylinders for their whole three minutes average length. Too Much being a prime example of this with another catchy refrain of “I’m alive” summing up the energy of the song in probably the simplest and most effective way possible.
The final track, Lazy Days, is a great short little closer to the album. The great, simple folky bass riff running through the song, makes it feel like a sort of epilogue to the rest of the album which bookends the whole thing very nicely and makes the overall record feel very complete and lends it a positive tone from the Overload at the beginning.
All in all then, go check out Navacross!