Nocturnal Me

Two Faced EP

Written by: TL on 29/08/2011 00:30:21

One thing that continually baffles me, is when musicians who've had some success in one or more of rock's various scenes decide to make new bands, substituting the genres they know for all out radio pop. The words: Midtown, Gabe Saporta, Cobra Starship - should have most people thinking why this is a no go, but if they don't mean anything to you, let me spell it out: Say you've been in a good punk band, and you have fans who like punk. Then you make a new band that tries to make chart pop, yet you don't have super smooth singer/dancer skills (see: Ne-Yo, Justin Timberlake) because well, you've spent your time playing rock, not doing scales and choreography. So the mainstream audience ignores the shit out of you because you got nothing on the established super stars, and hey, half your old fanbase thinks you're a joke as well because they're rock fans, and effectively most of them hate pop.

On the other hand though, I guess Cute Is What We Aim For was never really a very hard-rockin' band, and Nocturnal Me - whose third EP "Two Faced" has been sent in for review - does feature no less than three former CIWWAF members in singer Dave Melilo, drummer Mikey Lasaponara and guitarist Jeff Czum. The line-up is completed by bassist John Viavattine, and just in case you haven't figured it out yet, their band is all about the smooth pop and r'n'b. Sure, there's some audible guitar in there, but between the electronics, the auto-tune and the boy band-ish vocals in general, it's easier to compare NM to Akon or Eamon than to most rock bands, although I guess I can mention The Higher or Cash Cash without being too far off the mark.

I didn't come up with that whole sceptical introduction spontaneously though, as it explains pretty much what I feel about "Two Faced". Even liking the occasional pop-tune, I can't help but to recognize that this is hopelessly inferior to something by Ne-Yo for instance. The two first songs, "Get You Back" and "Love Is A Lie" in particular sound like pale imitations of the likes of him, and while "Weeknd" and "Without You" have more character, it still occurs to me that The Higher did the same thing much better on "It's Only Natural".

The question is, does the difference even matter to readers of this site? I mean when I reviewed The Higher, people busily tore into me for liking something that 'should be' shunned like the plague on this site. The people who felt like that back then would certainly hate this record as well. And even the ones that didn't, would be better advised to go and listen to either The Higher, Cute Is What We Aim For (which had far better hooks, and that's what it's all about in pop right?), or actual pop artists like Justin Timberlake or Ne-Yo instead if you ask me, because compared to them "Two Faced" seems a bit weak. I think that if this band wants to go anywhere, they need to focus more on how to stand apart from established pop-music, and less on how to imitate it.

Download: Weeknd, Without You
For The Fans Of: Cash Cash, The Higher, Cobra Starship

Release Date 19.07.2011
Apparition Records

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