• Curious Cat

Novacain’s ‘Shine On Me’ - A Tasty Riff-Driven Delivery from Britain’s New Purveyors of Joy

New single marks Portsmouth natives’ seventh year making rock music, and the result is worth every drop of their perseverance.

“It’s indie rock’n’roll. But I’d like to believe it’s different to anything else out there right now.”

These are the words of Lloyd Lock, guitarist for Novacain. The band officially formed in 2020, but these four friends have been playing venues together in various bands across Portsmouth and beyond, forming part of the fabric of their local rock scene for more than seven years now.

What sets them apart?

“Everyone is trying to be different, now more than ever. We aren’t different.” Lock is not unaware of the paradox of standing out by not trying to stand out. He insists on it. “We’re just classic. Classic rock. Classic pop. And… we think we’ve gotten pretty good at it.”

The band’s newest single, ‘Shine On Me’, is their fourth since the group’s formation in 2020. Featuring shades of everything from blues to 2000s pop-rock, the track is a system of cheeky upbeat riffs, and is laced with a crafty beat, a gorgeous vocal, and a lot of fun. ‘Shine On Me’ strikes a personal chord, while touching on universal themes, arriving as it does right now – as the nation looks forward to moving into some sort of new life, looking for reasons to hope.

“I need a resurrection for my pride/I’m like a treasure chest hidden at the bottom of the sea, so shine on me,” Daniel McTaggart sings in the chorus.

The voice is reassuring, without being preachy. ‘Shine On Me’ has rebellion in its veins, but doesn’t feel like conscription to a cause. This is a catch-free celebration of freedom. Novacain have put together a proper summer anthem for those ready for good weather - not just for the body, but for the heart and soul too.

The hard work of these four Portsmouth locals is paying off. Jokers in everything except dedication to their craft, they say, “We do it because we just love it. Working, holding down jobs, and making music together,” Lock explains, summing it up. “We muck about, yes. But when we make a song – we really go for it.”

Their bassist, Andy Sharp, pauses, hesitating.

“Is this a bad time to say I’m quitting the band?”


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