Winnipeg, Manitoba: Winter, mosquitoes, the Golden Boy, dirt, Monty Hall. ?
Mod Soul Power: Tight, impeccable, sophisticated, swaggering, passionate.?
Winnipeg Mod Soul Power: Novillero.
Ladies and gentlemen, please help us welcome to centre stage, the one and only Winnipeg Wall Of Sound, Novillero. Rising like a Phoenix from Arizona from past indie-rock acts such as Transonic, Bulletproof Nothing and Mint's own Duotang, Novillero is a four piece tour de force of chops and charisma, played by musicians who have been there, done that, toured the globe and back again, and have matured into knowing exactly what they want, and how they want to deliver it.
Key songwriter, keyboardist and bassist Rod Slaughter spent the last eight years in Duotang, a minimalist mod band of just bass and drums (on hiatus at the moment as drummer Sean Allum attends to his being a father!). In Novillero, it's as if Slaughter and his bandmates Sean Stevens, Grant Johnson, and David Berthiaume are making up for lost time, layering instrument upon instrument, chorus upon chorus and hook upon hook, molding their "Aim" into the band's finest work to date.?
Searing out of the speakers like a modern day all-star shakedown of The Small Faces, The Who, and the best of the earth-shaking Booker T and The MGs, Aim Right for the Holes in Their Lives does just that ?? indeed what you lack is an adrenaline shot of the purest mod exuberance?
Start with the incredible energy of "The Hypothesist" (possibly both Novillero and Slaughter's best song ever) then move on to the pysch-stunning "Habit Over Heart," change it up with "Abbey," then try the title track "Aim Right For The Holes...." This is tight, realized rock 'n roll music.
Oh, and yes, even the four members of Novillero admit that they don't pronounce the name of their band correctly. Sure, if this was, you know, Spain, or even Sesame Street, it would be correctly pronounced "Nobby-yerro" (meaning a novice bull-fighter), but everyone up here in Canada has referred to the foursome phonetically for so long, don't feel guilty doing the same.
Some recent press for Aim Right For The Holes In Their Lives:
Globe And Mail's CD of the Week: ...it should be crashing out of every radio in the country.
Chart: These Winnipeg mod-lovers crank up the retro pop hooks on their unstoppably jubilant second disc. Seriously, anyone who resists this huge sounding rock 'n' roll party of a record probably has difficulty spelling "fun." The quartet's brass-happy, jaunty piano-backed gems are imbued with Motown romps and enough ooh-ooh harmonies for ceaseless California dreamin' ? it's almost questionable whether these guys are really from the 'Peg.
Inside Entertainment: ...Novillero scores with an infectious, hook-laden sound built around Rod Slaughter's yelping vocals and cool keyboards.... "The Hypothesist" is a piano-driven, horn-drenched hit. Ole!
Winnipeg Sun: Knife-edged guitars, dancable beats, punchy horns and percolating keyboards are layered together into a colourful foundation for Slaughter's arch lyrics and vocals straight from Top of the Pops. Which, come to think, is pretty much where this irresistible disc sits on our hit parade
Uptown: ..the dynamic, energetic wall of sound they wring from guitar, keys, bass and drums is capable of drawing gasps from audiences....Novillero truly is a living, breathing object of rock 'n' roll beauty.