WE REVIEW THE NEW EP FROM NOT NED – NOT GONNA SLEEP TONIGHT
Just four years after the release of their debut album, indie-rock three piece Not Ned continue to cast ripples through the Northern rock scene with their latest EP Not Gonna Sleep Tonight.
This time round they’ve blessed us with six anthemic tracks made up of guitar riffs galore, casually relatable storytelling and even a rockified cover of Coldplay’s The Scientist. For fans of indie edging on the side of pop-punk, it’s a dream come true.
The EP kicks off with title track Not Gonna Sleep Tonight. It’s a peppy song shrouded in youthful reminiscence of first times and getting up to no good. Every part of this tune becomes an earworm, from the choppy vocals accompanied by a chordal riff and energetic drums to the masterfully high-toned guitar solo. Not Gonna Sleep Tonight launches you into the concept of this EP with a cool vibrancy that leaves you eager to listen on.
Track two begins with a deceivingly subtle guitar motif before diving into a jumpy up-beat swing. Despite being one of the EP’s shorter numbers, Come Talk To Me packs a punch with an infectiously bouncy rhythm that has your feet tapping involuntarily. It’s a real lively number that should be welcome on anyone’s party soundtrack. Around two minutes in, the tireless streak is interrupted by a short interlude before springing back to life for a joyful outro.
The indie-rock genre is no stranger to a good old love song; think The Killers, Stereophonics, even Oasis… and now Not Ned. However, these tunes aren’t always the admission of love in ballad form that you may expect. They come in the shape of more realistic stories, just like this EPs third and fourth tracks. Song For You is an undeniably romantic song, but in the context of mistakes and apologies that tells the story of the protagonist in hopes of getting his love back. The instrumentals expertly portray feelings of sincerity and rawness that would surely convince anyone to forgive their partner. It’s a playful gesture and no doubt a love song!
Romance doesn’t die there, as She Makes Everything Alright harnesses more of that heartfelt lyricism. This time, it’s wrapped in a confident vocal delivery with juicy blues influences from the backline, making track four one of the richest moments in the EP.
Not Ned bring their newest brainchild to a close on a very serene note. After the sprightly and dynamic journey that the EP takes, Life For a Like feels like the end of a day when everyone else has gone home and all you have left to do is reflect. The track is comprised of softer tones decorated with orchestral flourishes and moments that build so gently. Putting this song at the end ties the whole project together in a way that feel accomplished.
Not Gonna Sleep Tonight demonstrates the band’s versatility and expertise in their area of song writing. Their ability to maintain energy while conveying true human emotions and capturing those quieter moments is truly impressive. If you have a spare minute, do yourself a favour and give this one a spin. You won’t regret it.