Joshua Novak

The 5 Day Romance (Self-released)

Back in the days when high-quality recording technology was beyond the means of nearly every unsigned musician, homemade discs often cloaked the quality of the artists who produced them behind tape hiss and iffy mixes. Joshua Novak's new EP isn't quite that rough a listen, but foggy sonics make it difficult for this promising singer-songwriter to shine.

"There's Been an Accident" is a case in point. Lyrics like "Baby, cut yourself/Prove that you still bleed" are impassioned and moderately creepy, and the melody is catchy enough. Unfortunately though, Novak's vocals sound as if he was across the room from the nearest microphone when he delivered them, and the keyboard-heavy arrangement lacks the sort of dynamics that might pull everything together. "Size Queen" suffers from the same malady. It's an atmospheric tune that could have been more had some of the murk been scraped off prior to mastering.

Hidden within The 5 Day Romance are several pretty good tracks. Finding them is the trick.

 
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