Navaeh – “Find a Way”


Find A WayGood, old-fashioned rock-n-roll with loud everything and catchy rhythms and melodies that get you singing along and bobbing your head is something we all can relate to and while is in steady supply often is overlooked in music.  Navaeh comes to us with their third release, Find A Way, loud and catchy to meet that ever living need for guitar-driven rock-n-roll.

Looking over the history of the band, it’s hard to believe that Navaeh goes all the way back to 2004 in Richmond , Virginia as it’s now 2015 and the band’s home is Nashville, Tennessee.   The first Navaeh release I’m aware of was An Ode to Bad Decisions in 2011 which established their Nirvana/Foo Fighters/Queens of the Stone Age/Grunge influenced sound and was followed up in 2013 with And Then…There Was One which turned into a labor of love as Andrew Godfrey ended up recording the whole thing himself in Nashville.  As someone with Dave Grohl’s views on sound and recording, Godfrey enlisted J.Hall for mixing and mastering by Brad Blackwood at Euphonic (All That Remains, The Almost, Korn), who ensured the album had a great sound and rock feel.  For this album, Godfrey was able to bring back Ernest Morris (on Ode…and wrote some of And then…) along with enlisting a couple guest musicians for  a couple of tracks, Andy Calmes on drums for “Fraud” and Michelle Lambert providing violins on “In the Void” and “Traded Heart”.  This time, Dan Shike handled the mastering while production was done by the band with Jeremiah Scott, who in addition to being  guitarist in Demon Hunter, has produced a number of albums for Demon Hunter and  Living Sacrifice among others.

The first thing you’ll notice listening to Find a Way is the sound quality.  Rich, full, loud, and everything is incredibly crisp, even the fuzzy guitars, which is weird but they are.  Honestly, I don’t hear independent bands very often on what have to be limited budgets sound this way.  Best of all, for this grungy, rock genre, this works very well.  “Find A Way” sets the tone for the album and from the opening guitar riff, one can tell the direction of the album.  The loud opening guitars give way to a verse section that is muted guitars, with bass and drum carrying things and that contrast works well and build during the section until the guitars come back in full loud again for the bridge and chorus.  Godfrey’s vocals are smooth throughout the album and he shows a good bit of restraint even in the louder sections, showing the grunge influence.

“Looking In” changes things up a bit in terms of feel as I’m reminded a bit of bands like Helmet, for the opening riff and verse sections while other parts of the song would definitely bring to mind bands like the Foo Fighters which is more expected.  Many of the Navaeh songs start loud, go quiet and build back into the loud and this formula works well for them.  In contrast, the band goes full fuzzy guitar riffs and groove for “Fraud”, which is also the first video released by the band.  The professionally shot video which is largely performance footage, shows the band in their element and serves as a good introduction to the band.

Songs like “Zion” and “In the Void” showcase the band’s ability to use the contrast between quiet and loud to drive a song and both have some catchy lines in the chorus that are delivered in such a way that they have that knack of burrowing into your brain, “She’s gonna burn me to the ground, she’s gonna wreck me up and down” in “Zion” and “I’m in the void again, in over my head, in over my head” in “In the Void”.

Godfrey and Ernest Morris have really done some great work on the guitars and rhythm section for these songs and the production/mixing/mastering really serve to bring this out.  Drums are loud and distinct and in many songs, the bass really helps drive things along.  The songs are filled with little touches here and there, that often provide the unexpected, be it a pick slide, guitar fill, or even the violin in “Traded Heart” that really demonstrate the band’s love of performance.

Rating: 8.5/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Find a Way
2. Looking In
3. Fraud
4. Zion
5. My Head
6. Alone Again
7. Lemon Kisses
8. In the Void
9. Traded Heart

Band Members
Andrew Godfrey – Guitar, bass, drums, vocals
Ernest Morris – Guitar, bass, drums, vocals
Drums on “Fraud” – Andy Calmes
Violins on “In the Void” and “Traded Heart” – Michelle Lambert

“An Ode to Bad Decisions” (2011)
” And Then…There Was One” (2013) [review]
“Find a Way” (2015)

Record Label: Independent, July 2015

Weblinks: Facebook / Bandcamp / Twitter

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission

Video for ‘Fraud’


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