Words by Brian Salvatore
The Nevermen pull off a neat trick on their self-titled debut album: they simultaneously sound like what you’d expect, and yet surprise at every corner. The trio, comprised of Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio), Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle), and Doseone (cLOUDDEAD), poured over this material over the course of seven years, and came out with a project that sounds like all three of them, but like nothing any has ever done before.
For starters, the album is far more concise than you might expect from the trio – 10 songs, under 40 minutes, with only 4 of the tracks clocking in at over 4 minutes. Many of these songs get in and get out with incredible efficiency. It is also, hands down, the poppiest thing any of the three have been produced. When the album was announced, it seemed like it would be a non-stop weird-fest, in the best possible way. But instead, all three take their immense talent and wide-ranging styles, and mash it up into, perhaps, the most accessible thing any of them has ever done.
What’s perhaps most impressive is that it is poppy without feeling slight – everything is perfectly produced and performed. Each track has the undeniable markings of each member, and all three voices – literally, their singing voices – are featured on every track. This is, hands down, the most interlocked ‘supergroup’ I’ve ever heard. It is a fun listen that reveals layers upon layers of intrigue and depth. It is simultaneously a record that could do well in the background of a party, and one that begs for listening through some good headphones.
The album is actually quite hard to talk about, because there is so much to it – each track sounds cohesive with the ones that surround it, but each fill out the sonic landscape differently. “Wrong Animal, Right Trap” is all about the vocal interplay, “Tough Towns” is more percussive and ‘dirty’ sounding than anything that comes before it, and then “Hate On” begins as an ambient exercise that eventually gives way to chopped vocals and droning organ. The album keeps surprising, and rewarding, the listener at each turn. Let’s hope they make more of them.
© January 29th, 2016
TheWaster.com | #2016