EP Review: Stereo Juggernaut – “Novocaine Hurricane”
Back with a new line-up, a new sound and a new EP, Novocaine Hurricane sees Stereo Juggernaut returning to business after a quiet spell following their last release, 2012’s Disco Smack mini-album. This is definitely a different SJ from the one that disappeared off our radar a couple of years ago though. Gone, largely, are the electronic samples and techno-rock beats to be replaced by a doomy atmospheric goth-rock sound.
Opener Cold Shoulder could almost be Muse in one of their more reined-in moments (with a slight nod to Placebo’s helium-voiced histrionics as well). Rotten Luck meanwhile is a full-on in yer face barrage which sounds like you’d imagine Ministry would if they got a proper drummer in instead of a drum machine, with its pounding riff and gang chant chorus, while the sinister whispered vocals on Be Yours are pure Marilyn Manson. The techno-metal beats of Forgive? Forget? are probably the nearest thing to a nod back to SJ’s old sound (perhaps tellingly, it’s also the weakest track on here, although still a solid effort) while closer On My Jones sounds like what might happen if Al Jourgensen hooked up with Motorhead to jam a song out over a few beers.
This is actually a pretty impressive evolution of the SJ sound and proves that this band have definitely still got legs. If they play their cards right then this could be the start of something pretty big for them.
Proof that some bands need time to properly find their niche, and that it's more than worthwhile when they do, Novocaine Hurricane sees Stereo Juggernaut properly spreading their wings and moving their sound forward confidently. With a bit of luck and judgement, it could well open quite a few doors for them.