There is a lot of pressure on a debut album when a band has gained a reputation for an energetic stage presence, a vibrant sound, and wearing incredibly tight pants. It can be an easy thing to screw up, with the energy of a live performance missing when recording in the studio.

On The Gooch Palms’ debut, Novo’s, the duo absolutely live up to their own reputation, with a stripped down and highly energetic garage-punk-pop sound that barely fits into its own ridiculously tight trousers.

Opening with the album’s first single, ‘We Get By’, The Gooch Palms immediately establish a feeling not unlike that of a tongue after a long night of drinking booze and smoking cigarettes. The album maintains a solid pace, picking up with faster, more pop-centric songs such as ‘False Identity’, ‘The Slide’ and ‘Hungry’, while maintaining a steady groove with ‘Hunter Street Mall’; love crooners ‘You’ and ‘Don’t Cry’ provide a much-needed breather for the album without cause any disruption to its flow. Some of the songs do feel a little drawn out and could easily stand to have a minute shaved off, but it’s a minor gripe.

The album was recorded in a single day at the “Gooch Farm”, and the frantic energy of this comes through the tracks, echoing the same energy one would see at their live gigs.

Novo’s is an excellent album: a debut with a lot of bite, and a strong first step from the band.

4/5 stars

BY DANIEL PRIOR

Novo’s is out now through Anti Fade Records.

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