November Trials - Cover Your Tracks (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

November Trials

Cover Your Tracks (2005)


Dear potential musicians:

Take this not as a request, but instead a plea. When naming your band, for the love of God: Please, please do not use a day of the week, or a month of the year. Thursday, Taking Back Sunday, Sunday's Best, the June Spirit, Last Days Of April, August Ends, Saturday Looks Good To Me; enough. No more. Rock music has existed for less than 75 years, and already the bottom of the creative well is being scraped right down to the bedrock. Use morse code, name your band in Latin, I don't care, do something different.

November Trials, I'll let you pass, because obviously your band was named and album recorded before this review, but the rest of you, stop it.

I really have to applaud most bands who put out records without labels. Anyone close to the music business knows it's hard enough most times to record even with a label's promotional and financial backing, let alone doing it without any of that assistance, but November Trials try and make the best of things, suffering not in song, but recording quality. A few of these songs are downright hard to listen to due to this lack of solid studio arrangement, but if you give it your patience, there's some really good songs brewing underneath. "The Mask" has a venerable amount of kick to it, but allows itself to traverse the grounds between a solid rock‘n'roll groove and impassioned fits of screaming. The contrast is nice, and allows the intensity to override the poor recording quality for the first time.

There's still some pieces of intensity, and frentic guitar playing and drumming to be found elsewhere on the record, but a lot of it seems to be grounded into a real rock‘n'roll sensibility. Each facet of this record shows the band in a positive light but it's the rock‘n'roll elements that get more time to evolve, sounding a bit like Cursive's Tim Kasher singing for the Strokes. I wouldn't say it's an identity crisis, but it couldn't hurt for the band to take some time and see just what direction of their music they want to fully pursue. The contrast is nice, but for the sake of cohesion it would be much easier to opt for one style or the other.

Overall, it seems that a production facelift and a bit of musical direction could spell great things for this three-piece. They've defied the day/month stereotype of being generic and awful, but some work still needs to be done before this band earns their place on the map. Because once somebody makes the intelligent move to sign the band, you'll be hearing some good things from their records.