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Hailing from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, alternative rock quintet Norman have carved an illustrious career since 2004. Following on from their 2013 release Into The Eventyr, the band push out their fourth album, one that pales their previous work through maturity. Buzz And Fade is a showcase of expertise, detonated over a confidence-oozing thirty-six minutes. With ten tracks that will rattle your woofers and bury themselves inside your brain, long after the closer fades.
Hitting the ground running with “Crystal Memory”, a choppy piece of melodic glory that builds momentum for the album to come. With an inherent eighties feel set against distorted guitar cranks, similarly in the style to the glam rock sweetness of “Already Gone”. In some respects, Norman build a sound that is equally alternative, and addictive, but with hooks that do exactly what they are meant to, hooking the listener in to a feel-good flow.
The drum crack that opens “Nothing I Could Do” opens up a world of harmonics, think Coldplay with more balls, and depth. Reaching into the talent of all involved in the recording to build a sizzling wall of effervescent noise. Showing how the album twists and turns, “Bindmender” has that post-punk electronic feel, more in line with late seventies New York than twenty-first century Oregon. In the same breath “My Old Ears” rips with the same authenticity of anything from that era, it feels as though the nineties never happened and the band are the direct link to the originators of art-house rock.
Granted there is a significant echo of ELO within the vibe of “Hell You Are”, it does not affect the continuity of Buzz And Fade. And the audience is swept back into a gothic, subversive, electronic-world with finale “Second Day Of Spring”. The perfect farewell to Buzz And Fade, all the elements combine to force the listeners finger to hit the restart and play it all again.
In truth, Buzz And Fade is a savage album, simple on paper but thrilling to listen to. With themes that mix genres and emotions perfectly. That is why Norman have accomplished the hardest of tasks here, making an album that is both alternative and radio friendly without any pretentious flavor or sell out moment. As 2020 begins one of the most sublime albums released in 2019 sets a high bar for the year to come.
3.The World And You
4.Nothing I Could Do
6.Easy To Love
7.My Old Ears
9.Hell You Are
10.Second Day Of Spring
All songs performed by;
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