What better day than a day dedicated to all things scary to offer up a new find on one of the most consistently, frighteningly awful labels out there, the tiny and mysterious Noval Records label.
First up is a song with an absolutely quintessential song-poem title, "Thoughts", sung by Noval's resident female - as always, not credited on the label (that's the songwriters' names you see in the scans). There are at least a few other obvious titles that could have been given to this lyric, but no, the song-poet with "Thoughts".
A lugubrious pace and somnambulistic setting by the combo drag this one down, as they do on about 80% of Noval's releases. The singer - as this singer always does - sounds like a hometown girl performing in an amateur hour at the local church, although I am head over heels for the spectacularly incompetent swooping in her voice at 1:26 - It borders on self-parody, and it's worth the price of admission.
The flip side, "Following Around With You", features the same vocalist, but the band, as heard here, is about the peppiest that I've ever heard on a Noval release, and it's sort of led by a plucked guitar, another rarity on this label. The whole thing (except the typically awful vocal) sounds more like a Globe production than the typical Noval output.
That doesn't make any of it very good at all. Lyrically, it's actually a close relative to "Thoughts" - a woman pining for someone who has likely been untrue - although the specifics are different (the reference to the Army seems to fly in from another song entirely). Musically, despite the peppier beat (it's not actually peppy, but it's a rock and roll stomper compared to most Noval records), nothing of interest happens, aside from a few badly played moments. And is it just me, or does this seem to go on forever.