WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM NOT NOW NORMAN – IT’S NOT THIS ONE
Debut album titled “It’s Not This One” from female fronted rock band Not Now Norman is an angsty and forcefully self-assured debut that is sure to strike a chord with fans of the gothic rock genre.
Beginning as powerfully as it means to go on the opening track to “It’s Not This One” is a short blast of heavy electric guitar and rip-roaring instrumentals getting the message across that this is a band with confidence. With the theatrical thunder and lightning sound effects creating a gothic atmosphere the opener does well to set an engaging tone for the rest of the album. Throughout the entirety of “It’s Not This One” there’s an Ozzy Osbourne meets alternative punk rock feel to the music that is both wonderfully nostalgic and creative.
On the following track “Judas” it’s a pleasant surprise to hear the raging guitars and percussion of Not Now Norman met with equally formidable female vocals from lead singer Taylor-Grace. In the rock music industry, which is often extremely male dominated, it’s always empowering to hear female-fronted rock bands with badass women singing boldly about standing on their own two feet – and the lyrics to “Judas” and much of the other tracks on the album such as the deliciously angry numbers “Shut Your Mouth” and “WHO ARE YOU!?” undeniably embody this. The mixing of the tracks perfectly emphasises and draws attention to the power of Taylor-Grace’s vocals as it allows plenty of breathing space over the roaring instrumentals for the vocals to shine and take centre stage. The contrast between the elegant vocals and harsh instrumentation evokes memories of female fronted gothic rock bands such as Evanescence which is sure to bring back fond nostalgia to female rock and metal fans.
Each track on “It’s Not This One” has a strong presence and clear passion and relentless energy put into it, this makes for a riveting atmosphere that is sure to get heads banging at gigs. There’s an anthemic sound to much of the tracks particularly on ones such as “What I Want” and “End of the Day” with strong choruses featuring on every number making them all have great radio playability and sing-along quality. Overtly angsty yet simultaneously optimistic and heart-warming at times such as on the track “Chasing Rainbows” which celebrates a loved one and their cherished support during times of hardship the album is clearly centred thematically about stepping into your power and not letting others kick you down.
For me, the absolute highlight of this courageous narrative comes on the track “Little Frankenstein” in which lyricist and vocalist Taylor-Grace takes the timeless story of a monster unaccepted by society as a metaphor for her own neurodivergence and physical disability and turns it into an empowering narrative about loving and embracing your own “strangeness”.
As society still very much has a long way to go with accepting and understanding both mental and physical differences/disabilities it’s a hugely important message to spread that neurodivergent and disabled people can achieve just as much and are even often gifted with unique abilities that set them apart from others.
The track displays Taylor-Grace’s inspiring confidence in her individuality with her characteristically fiery instrumentals and lyricism. All in all, the track perfectly sums up what Not Now Norman’s debut “It’s Not This One” is all about – embracing the weird and wonderful with a wrathful, goth rock sound.