Novocaine No. 9

Frustration No. 10

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Frustration No.10 is a pleasing if anachronistic album. Had it been released three years earlier, Novocaine would doubtless have been welcomed with open arms by fans of the Buzzcocks-inspired pop-punk movement which included bands such as Mega City Four and the Senseless Things. But by 1997, the British media had turned on what it saw as a dated musical style, audiences had moved on, and Novocaine received short shrift where they received any mention at all. The awful cover artwork probably didn't help. But if you ever twitched a foot to the Descendents (there's even a mention of caffeine here!) or Canada's Doughboys, for example, there's plenty to enjoy. The musicianship is tight, Steve Evans is an engaging enough singer, and songs like "Modern Man" cut the mustard -- but a bit more variety in terms of pacing and construction would have helped.

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