Reviews for Deeper High...
Good to know, that the long wait is over and Detroitĺs NOVADRIVER were able to record their second album for Small Stone. The past years have been very heavy for the band, due to some tragic and problematic circumstances, but finally the have re-ignited their rocket-booster and returned in best shape. "Deeper Highô is not very different from the debut release, maybe a bit darker and more matured, but it contains all the good things I love about this band: well-structured songs, which are rooted strongly in melody without being to pop-inflected, a double-dose of guitar and bass-driven heaviness as well as the significant and charismatic vocals of Mark Miers. The powerful opener "You Want Yours, You Want Mineô shows, how moody and mighty this band can sound. But this is only a perfect start for an excellent album, and the following ten tracks are showing a band, which can write some real kick-ass tunes like "Roll Youô, while "Dark Aftermathô is a dark and emotional semi-ballad. This diversity is one of the reasons, why "Deeper Highô never becomes boring for a minute, and I like it how NOVADRIVER have embedded their 60Ĺs/70Ĺs roots (MC5, Hawkwind, Black Sabbath f.e.) in a yet updated and massive sound. So, "Deeper Highô is a fine example for an album, or better ľ a band, that plays smoking heavy rock, which still is full of soul, blues and psychedelic. And they write songs, which always will stand the test of time. "Deeper Highô is a timeless classic, too! Highly recommandable!
(KK)January 13th, 2008www.cosmiclava.com
White Trash Devil
Small Stone Records is one of those labels that seems to release nothing but quality albums on a continuous basis. IĂve been a fan of the stuff these guys have been releasing since I heard Dixie WitchĂs One Bird, Two Stones a few years back and since then, IĂve almost never been disappointed with a Small Stone release. So naturally, when NovadriverĂs A Deeper High arrived in my mailbox, I expected some good old rock and roll from the Small Stone campÓand thatĂs exactly what I got.
Straight out of Detroit Rock City, NovadriverĂs A Deeper High is deeply influenced by the sounds of classic rock and roll, but I also sense a little of the mid-90Ăs alternative influence as well. For exampleÓif Ted Nugent and The Stone Temple Pilots were to jam together, right after The Pilots released Core, that would be a fairly good indication of NovadriverĂs sound. They are deeply rooted in the old school, but are totally unafraid to shake things up with a modern edge every now and then.
Much like their old school heroes, Novadriver excels in writing an album full of quality songs that does nothing but rock your arse from start to finish. None of the tracks can really be singled out for analysis, as all of them feature their own special touch from the Novas. Songs like the title track, ˘You Want Yours, You Want Mine÷ and the epic duo closer of ˘Blackout÷ and ˘Whiteout÷ are all right on par with one another, but not in a repetitive sense.
Basically, this is one of those albums thatĂs very easy to listen to from the beginning until the very end. If youĂre having friends over to drink some beers, hit the keef, and chill out for a while, play this album. If youĂre going on a road trip to Las Vegas or even to the bandĂs hometown of Detroit, play this album. ItĂs the perfect companion piece for these types of situations, but more importantly, itĂs rock and roll the way it should be.
Novadriver is a band IĂll definitely be listening to again, and if you like your rock fast, loud, and groovinĂ...youĂd better listen to them as well. Check them out at Small StoneĂs site and enjoy.
Reverend SickJune, 2006www.whitetrashdevil.com
All Access Magazine
NovadriverĂs latest release ˘Deeper High÷ has the band returning to their bombastic era of their 2001 debut ŠVOIDĂ. It also marks the return of lead singer Mark Miers. Who, incidentally left after the debut to persue other ˘musical avenues÷. Miers now rejoins the original core of the band he left. Billy Reed on ear splitting lead guitar and his partner in crime, Eli Ruhf plays rhythm guitar. The tight ass rhythm section is rounded out by the low end fuss of bassist James B. Anders and drummer Eric Miller. Together, these guys pack a heavy punch of psychedelic spaced out stoner rock. Once the CD starts, it sounds like the radios on and the lady DJ is talking up the track, ˘You Want Yours, You Want Mine÷. Hell, this is driving music for the soul. ItĂs space truckinĂ, head trippinĂ, smoked out rock for the masses. Check out the Monster Magnet influenced rockers like, ˘Turn To Stone÷ (not the ELO song), ŠMachine÷ and ˘Roll You÷, with an ear shrieking scream at the break. All of this leads up to a blazing guitar solo from Billy. This bass driven hot rod is actually about a Chevy Nova, I believe. Not only does Eric Miller shine on the title track, ˘Deeper High÷, but I think itĂs him filling in all of those gaps with, cowbell, maracas and tambourine. The song ˘Stars After StarsÓ÷ is stadium rock, thatĂs as heavy as a sludge hammer. ˘Push The River÷ could be a single, it has a great story. ThereĂs the ever present instrumental ˘Blackout÷, that starts slowly, builds up and slows back down, only to explode like a supernova. But thatĂs not the crazy part, it blends right into the next and final song, ˘Whiteout÷, another instrumental!! What a CD and what a production by Al Sutton and Bob Pantella. Novadriver makes the Motor City proud with this soon to be classic. It comes highly recommended.
The Rocker\r\n\r\nApril 13 , 2006\r\nwww.allaccessmagazine.com
Start yer olĂ engines, fasten yer seatbelts and join a ride through groove and space÷ could have been written on a sign outside the place Novadriver is playing. They ride a spaceship built in Detroit in the late 90Ăs with original accessories from the 70Ăs. Their sound involves heavy guitars, supersonic guitar solos, groovy rhythms, wahĂs, space and loads of psychedelia. They have released 2 albums, ˘Void÷ and ˘Deeper High÷.
So let me get one thing straight right away: ˘Deeper High÷ is NOT the music to get stuck in traffic with!!! This is a travelling album of the finest. This is the soundtrack to ride your bike, fly your plane, blow your mind, to move! Getting it on with ˘You Want Yours, You Want Mine÷ and already smelling the Hawkwind smell, you begin the journey, and the rhythm graps you. At once you are shaking your leg, as the groovebombs ˘Roll You÷ and ˘Deeper High÷ kick in. The grooveattack is topped with ˘Turn To Stone÷ which will make you reach for another beer as you think of getting that 70Ăs moustache in your face at the moment it rocks through your speakers! The follower ˘Dark Aftermath÷ is stuffed with psychedelia and sweet melodies to catch your breath again and relax as you continue this journey through groove and spaceÓ. Šnuff rest for ya so take another one if youĂre up to it. ˘Machine÷ rocks and rolls with attitude and doesnĂt want or need anything else to stand alone and shake away. ˘Bury Me Alive÷ comes with a bag full of riffs and them cool guitar solos that will get you going to show Šem what you got in airguitar! You showed them well and so you get beamed up right after your performance to the colisseum to be among ˘Stars After Stars÷ and feel the way it feels to travel through a supernovaÓ Still got some energy left? Take ˘Push The River÷, another little tune to pass earth and visit for a while planet grooveÓ Approaching the end of the journey Novadriver takes you into a black hole called ˘Blackout÷, letting you know how a riff can blow your mind away and expand your self as the solos weave their sound just enough to reach the limits and get lost in the ˘Whiteout÷ zone, where you will find your Monster Magnet, Hawkwind, MC5 etc. buddies drinking beers and chatting with the Novadrivers!
The journey ends and as this review ends as well ˘Deeper High÷ left me with the impression of a circleÓ Whole and complete!
THE CUTTING EDGE
Deeper High comes on the heels of some very sad news for Novadriver. Just prior to the recordĂs release bassist and key songwriter Jim Anders suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. Yet, this is only one of many setbacks that have befallen the band in the four years since their last release Void ű and certainly their most anguishing. Separating themselves from the pack of other coined ˘stoner÷ bands Novadriver has a somewhat spiritual link to the rock arena bands of the Š70s ű even contributing to the AerosmithĂs tribute disc Right In The Nuts. The Michigan-based foursome are known for grinding out doomy riffs with elements of Hawkwind/early Scorpions-like space metal along side psychedelic overtones. Contrast the fusion landslide of ˘Whiteout÷ and the guitar overload of ˘Blackout÷ to ˘Dark Aftermath÷ with its hypnotic ocean-like wave of melody embracing vocalist Mark MiersĂ unique wail. It will blow your mind!
Miers, though almost out of the picture due to his departure after Void, is a large part of the recordsĂ strength. Returning to the fold just before the band went into preproduction on Deeper High, the singer struts his vocal prowess from the spine-tingling ˘You Want Yours You Want Mine÷ and bass-powered ˘Roll You÷ to the high-octane ˘Turn To Stone÷ and ˘Machine÷. Together with guitarists Billy Reedy and Eli Ruhf, Miers can move easily from the darker phrasing of doom to frantic Detroit garage. On celluloid drummer Eric Miller and Anders create a tremendous rhythm section. They fuse an impressive, almost Monster Magnet vibe in ˘Push The River÷ and on the title cut seal a fitting tribute to Anders presence as the bass drives this mother home. Essential!
Todd SmithIssue #62 - October, 2005thecutting-edge.net
DAREDEVIL MAGAZINE (Germany)
I remember 2001 when I first heard of Novadriver...yeah, maybe a few of you will remember... right... it was their debut on Small Stone called "Void". Now... four years later after a long break Novadriver are back with a fantastic follow up to "Void" called "DeeperHigh". This album is just the right thing for every Stoner out there. It?s bombastic 70?s Retro Rock with some elements of Desert Rock and MotorCityRock vibes. Imagine MC5 on f**ing LSD would team up with Blue Cheer and Zeppelin... compared to their last album the sound really improoved and believe me... this stuff is hot as hell. It?s like a book you can?t stop reading, cause every time you listen to it... you?ll find something new. MotorCity Drug-Rock at it?s best... F**ck yeah!!!September, 2005
There are numbskull riffs, thud-pocket drumming and (we imagine) nerve-pinching head flips. There are tangled-up-in-blues guitar leads flittering through wah pedals and scads of other Stooges finger-pistols. Shit, even the cowbell on ˘Turn to Stone÷ could be turned up. But donĂt yawn just yet, chief; this beast of a bong-loading, zit-squishing, porn-watching, beer-gut fueling, stoner-psyche record moves through the system like a sizzling rush of crystal meth.
Ably recorded in Ferndale, this 11-song disc (the Detroit bandĂs second) finds croon-howl-croon frontman Mark Miers back in the fold, eluding goofy metal posturing. On ˘Machine,÷ he and band sound positively pissed-off, and such impressive Bush-defiant phrases as ˘DonĂt want it/DonĂt need it/DonĂt want your war machine÷ rattle your head long after the CD has been shelved, long after another motherĂs son has been buried in Arlington.
˘Dark Aftermath÷ shows, um, a sensitive side; itĂs filled with lofty guitar melodies ready-made for open beers on the open road, watching the haunted Detroit skyline recede in the rearview. ˘Bury Me Alive÷ couldĂve been an Alice Cooper ditty with Slash guesting, and the mosh-ready ˘Roll You÷ even kicks-starts with a cop of the DamnedĂs ˘Neat Neat Neat÷ bassline (RIP Novadriver bassist James B. Anders). ThatĂs class.
The instrumental ˘Blackout÷ contains climaxes that hoary guitar heroes the world over strive for ¨ itĂs the aural equivalent of syrupy Peter North cum shots strung together in a video montage and viewed in slo-mo. Hence the finishing ˘Whiteout,÷ to which we imagine a spent North slowly toweling himself off. So, yes, Deeper High is a fine, fine record.
Brian SmithSeptember 21st, 2005
Sophomore album from ill-fated Detroit space lords.
"Deeper High" is the sophomore album from the ill-fated Novadriver, out of Detroit. Their stunning debut, "Void", released in 2001, was a twisting, turning hard rock/psychedelic riff-rock extravaganza, and it fused the effective simplicity of "Detroit Rock" [think Iggy, MC5 etc.] with interstellar psychedelica [think Hawkwind, Kyuss]. Internal disputes led to the departure of singer Mark Miers; the band couldn't find a proper replacement over the past few years, and their struggle to break in a several vocalists led to cancelled tours and lost opportunities.
Novadriver - Deeper High Fortunately, "Deeper High" marks the return of Mike Miers, and his distinctive, soaring voice is among the high points of the album. The same can be said for the songs; grabbing your attention with massive, high octane fuelled riffs, and then fleshing things out with acid-induced guitar leads. This is one helluva cosmic freak-out, pairing classic psychedelica to groove-laden, heavy rock. "Deeper High" will force the listener to indulge oneself in serious amounts of mind-altering substances, or at least make them feel like they did.
It seemed Novadriver was set for a bright return on the scene, but, unfortunately disaster has stuck. The sudden death of bassist James B. Anders, the band's driving force behind all the songs and lyrics, casts a dark shadow over the band and the release of this enthralling album - life is very hard hard for Novadriver.
If a deeper high is what Novadriver were seeking, theyĂve found it. Their modern take on the space/psychedelic genre, blended with their more straightforward influences, makes them truly unique on the riff/desert scene, and for a band who took four years to put out their sophomore release, NovadriverĂs return is most welcome. Deeper High might just sound like guys getting stoned and playing guitar to uninitiated ears, but tracks like ˘Roll You÷ and ˘Push The River÷ rock like Detroit hasnĂt rocked in decades, and even in their spacier moments, the band never goes so far out that they canĂt reel it back in. ItĂs great to have them back.
JJ KoczanAugust 17, 2005
Novadriver has been through the kind of shit most bands would rather avoid. Between 2001's Void and the current opus, singer/keyboardist Mark Miers left (and came back). Worse, bassist/songwriter James B. Anders passed away following the completion of Deeper High. So while it may just be me putting my own assumptions on it, this record definitely sounds like a triumph over adversity. The Detroit combo slams propulsive riff-rockers like "Machine," "Bury Me Alive" and "Turn to Stone" (cue cowbell) into the nosebleed seats and out of the park, as if it couldn't wait to start swinging. Slower cuts like "Dark Aftermath" and the sample-laced "Stars After StarsÓ" luxuriate in an expansive spaciness that's relaxing even as it blows your speakers out. The album concludes with the pounding, swirling, shimmering one-two instro punch of "Blackout" and "Whiteout," sending Deeper High off into the stars. This is psychedelic hard rock as emotional liberation.
Michael TolandAugust 19th, 2005highbias.com
Ya know, before I even listened to this, I was thinking about how in this new zero attention span culture of I-Pod shuffles and one-paragraph news stories, that bands like Nova Driver might be in the soup, 'cuz who's gonna stick around for an hour's worth of loping, druggy space metal epics when there's hot new celebrity porn and disco/death metal mash-ups to consume? Luckily, Detroit's way out-est blastronauts are one small step ahead of me, as smackdab between Atomic Bitchwax-y stonermetal speed trials like 'Roll You' and Magnet-ized Planet Caravan homages like "Dark Aftermath", there's a certified dope n' roll hit, full of cowbells, bouncy, Fu Manchewy riffs, a tasty 70's porn solo, and a meaty, smoke-along chorus called "Turn to Stone". It's massive, baby, and as Mrs. Sleazegrinder so aptly put it, "Finally, stoner rock you can dance to!" That's all we ever asked for, really.
The rest of the rekkid is good, too, bombastic and groove-y and fuzzy as hell, but "Turn to Stone" will be the one you remember. See ya in orbit
KenAugust 4th, 2005sleazegrinder.com
Novadriver's long, four-year hiatus between first and second albums was a rather bizarre one. Vocalist/organist Mark Miers effectively quit the group to pursue other interests, presumably found them to be less interesting than expected, and then rejoined in time to complete an album -- 2005's Deeper High -- which, at least sonically speaking, behaves as if he never left in the first place! All good considering the Detroit natives' first outing had set a very good precedent; standing out from a rather stale late-90s stoner rock revival by brusquely shaking (not stirring) equal doses of classic rock, space rock, and their hometown's vibrant, proto-punk legacy around a shiny (heavy) metallic canister -- then spicing it with just a dash of those dangerously excessive jam tendencies. Here, as then, instantly foot-taping nuggets like "You Want Yours, You Want Mine," (an ideal, slow-building opener), "Roll You" (a brutal aural mugging), the memorable title track (affording plenty of soloing room for guitarist Billy Reedy), and "Turn to Stone" (simply a timeless classic rocker) come souped-up for maximum highway-driving enjoyment. And even though it eases off the gas pedal considerably, the semi-ballad "Dark Aftermath" is unconventional enough to keep the listener interested until the dirty garage-psych charge of "Machine" can restart the engines, and lead the way into the downright spectacular "Bury me Alive." A near-perfect example of Novadriver's fluid songwriting chops, this album and career standout does, however, also draw attention to the fact that, in a broader sense, the band still frequently comes off sounding like a sleeker, tamer, less gonzoid version of Monster Magnet -- as further witnessed by easier-flowing space-groove runs like "Stars After StarsÓ" and "Blackout"). Then again, Dave Wyndorf himself would be the first to admit to channeling these same musical devices from earlier sources, dating back as far as the late-60's; so that the inescapable similarities are only there inasmuch as such things are inevitably cyclical in rock and roll. Moreover, as the feedback creation, "Whiteout," fades us down to black, the feeling that lingers is how great it is having a new Novadriver album. Tragically, bassist and key songwriter Jim Anders passed away shortly after Deeper High's recording sessions, leaving yet another major challenge for the band to overcome.
Eduardo RivadaviaJuly, 2005allmusic.com
Novadriver's previous effort, 'Void,' has long been a staple in my CD player, a perfect example of how to do the stoner/space thing and do it right. The band is simply a super-high energy, fuzzed-out musical force flying down the spaceways in your skull, creating timeless tuneage that matches the great bands of today with the giants of yesterday.
The trouble is, there had been such a long gap between 2001's 'Void' and 'Deeper High' that I figured the band had simply imploded. They never really toured as far as I could tell, and things got to be unnaturally quiet. That's why I was especially gratified to read about the impending release of 'Deeper High' some time ago. Does it match 'Void?' It most assuredly does, though it seems somewhat darker than it's predecessor. The band still plays that magical combination of 70s hard rock FM muscle a la the MC5 and Aerosmith and contemporary stoner/space by the likes of Qualone, 500 Feet of Pipe, Valis, Dozer, Phased, and most of all Nebula. You might even recognize some Raging Slab and early Magnet, say about the time of 'Superjudge.' Novadriver is once again running on raw rocket fuel, burning clean and white from the Indy finish line to the moons of Jupiter and beyond, finally hooking up with that fabled stoner caravan far out in space.
There's a sad note that brings it all back to earth, though, and that's the untimely death of bassist Jim Anders. By all accounts he was man of principle, a major force within the band. Let's hope the group can survive without him. Even though I didn't know him, somehow I sense that he would want it that way. In the meantime, pick this one up; I've got a strong feeling that its going to end up on more than one Top 10 list.
Kevin McHughJuly 12th, 2005hellridemusic.com
Novadriver are an American kick ass band honing all the good shit about hard-fucking-rock into one big ball of mung. Packing down mid-tempo arena stompers like the children of the 'Nuge / Aerosmith '76 tour, the bad ass Green River side of grunge, and snot thick Stonesisms jerked through the long lamented Surgery or legendary Union Carbide Productions.
You'd have to be a true rock hater to not wanna see these guys with the rejuvenated Roadsaw and rehabbed Lamont. FuckÓ these guys are the Midwestern Fu Manchu or the US corollary to the utterly wonderful, The Quill. Quill = classic Euro-Deep Purple rootage, Novadriver sups at a table well apportioned by Grand Funk Railroad.
But are tunes there? Are they? Yup. The guitar/vocal melodies sink a hook and work off the bass'es counterpoint to the 'ride-the-groove, steady-as-she-goes captain' drumming of Eric Miller and soulful hard rock classique singin' of Mark Miers. Like ATP these guys can weave a spacey heatwave-offűtheűhighway shimmer that'll sate any appetite for early Monster Magnet. These guys REALLY make me want to swap the guy up the road for his '82 FirebirdÓ.
See Greatdayforup, Amps II Eleven, Nebula, Lamont.
Craig RegalaAugust, 2005
The five-piece (with vocalist Mike Miers back in the fold, after a prolonged absence) keeps things simple, letting a good beat and better songs do the talking. I got whiffs of The Stooges, AC/DC, Dozer, Hawkwind, and The Hellacopters in NovadriverĂs 4-4 rock. ThereĂs a a pop element to their songs (emphasized by MiersĂ strong delivery), yet with a hard driving edge. YĂknow, the kind of honest, pure rock that should be on the radio. The kind of honest, pure rock you want to be listening to while you refinish the deck or work on your muscle car. The kind of honest, pure rock thatĂs best served with a cold six pack. And like all honest, pure rock, there are plenty of opportunities for solos, something Novadriver take full advantage of.
Though it would be easy to lump the band with the ManĂs Ruin catalogue, they donĂt sound dated. Good rock is timeless and NovadriverĂs execution is damn near flawless, whether busting out some cowbell on ˘Roll You÷ or slowing things down with the cosmic stoner jam of ˘Blackout÷ (or the following track, the acid drenched ˘Whiteout÷).
IĂm not going to lie and say this is one of the all time great records, but sweet good goddamn thereĂs no denying that Deeper High is a benchmark for riffs ŠnĂ hooks fuzz rock. And as an epitaph for bassist Jim Anders, who unexpectedly passed away shortly after the albumĂs completion, you canĂt get any better. Deeper High shows five guysĂ love of music. Go get this.
John PegoraroJune, 2005StonerRock.com