The Novice

The Novice “S/T” 7” (Dirtnap Records) 2013
By Rich Cocksedge (SugarBuzz UK)

The Novice is a band which is likely to have this two track 7” vinyl to show for its troubles following one of its number, Jeff Burke, returning to the USA from his time in Japan.  For those who don’t know who Jeff Burke is, then really you need to take a few steps back and investigate The Marked Men, one of the best and most respected garage punk rock bands that have graced any stage / toilet / bar in many a year.  Saying that, it’s not obligatory to know anything of Burke to actually enjoy the record, as it stands proud on its own, regardless of that one person’s involvement.

Here Burke is joined in The Novice by a trio of locals from his stay overseas and basically this is another outlet for what Burke has become known for: short, choppy garage punk that has hooks, catchiness and a bucket load of energy.  Leading off is “What You Want”, a really great song that implants itself immediately into my head on the first listen and from there on in, not even a crowbar and a stick of dynamite would be enough to pry it out of there, even if I wanted to rid myself of that catchy goodness.

“Your Crime” takes a couple more listens to make its mark, as it’s competing against one of the best songs of 2013, but needless to say, it contains its own level of infectiousness that raises a smile yet also a sense of hollowness on realising that for The Novice, this small piece of vinyl might be all that we have to remember them by.  I won’t complain too much as I’d rather have this than never have heard the two songs, but once heard it’s an instant response to demand more, more, MORE!