West Virginia isn’t a place you’d expect for a band whose primary influences are classic rock and Brit-pop. But Novaflow defies the odds. Many in the area are fans of either country or heavy metal, which has stacked the deck against the Huntington trio. For a band sounding more like James or Oasis than John Denver or Bobaflex, Novaflow could have easily packed up shop and moved to a city where their sound would be more apt to go over with the locals, but they haven’t.
The band got their start when the three principal members, singer/rhythm guitarist Jeff Stevens, drummer Matt Walker and bassist Ben Keenan, attended an Oasis concert in nearby Cincinnati. Here, the band was blown away by the brothers Gallagher’s ability to command and control a crowd and their mastery of their classic sound. On the three-hour trek back to Huntington, the trio decided then and there that they were going to form a band. Though great in theory, there was one problem: none had any proper musical training. But that didn’t repel the trio. Once they got back, Keenan admitted he was already in the process of taking guitar lessons and Stevens and Walker self-taught themselves how to play their respective instruments.
Novaflow’s first proper release, The Fix, is a cult smash with listeners beyond Appalachia. It has attracted listeners as far as Europe and Asia, a far cry from the band’s home. With rockers like “Homecoming,” ballads like “The Breaks and a cover of “House of the Rising Sun,” the trio shows that they are a band with great range and a very high ceiling. They recorded the EP and subsequent LP in Atlanta with engineer Shawn Grove (Collective Soul, Sevendust, matchbox twenty), who has brought out the best in the band.
The band in the process of working on their follow up, “I Got Away With Murder.” After listening to the pre-production on some of the tracks, the band has taken a much darker turn on “Murder.” Stevens’ brooding vocals/guitars and Walker’s hip-hop driven drums show a great maturity from The Fix. If you want to check out a band that will be on the scene for years to come, you better get on the Novaflow bandwagon before it’s too late.