For Fans Of
Christofer Drew, the creative force behind Never Shout Never, has for the first time enlisted the use of a full band to create his third record, ‘Time Travel,’ as opposed to writing and recording predominantly by himself as on his previous releases. Whilst this has had an impact on the band’s sound, replacing stripped back acoustic driven pop songs for grandiose, atmospheric pop songs, it hasn’t really made the band any better.
The songs are certainly more experimental, an advancement of sorts, but getting past Drew’s stock standard punk pop voice and dreary lyrics is a big ask. The other elements of the record aren’t half bad, mainly the song dynamics and structures which save the music from being completely paint-by-numbers, and are a big step forward in maturity when compared to the previous release, 2010’s ‘Harmony.’
The band are going for a stadium sized sound on tracks like Robot and Complex Heart which soar where they need to. I’d like to say that the group were listening to ‘Sgt. Peppers’ whilst making this album but in reality they are probably too young to know what that record is and think that Panic! At The Disco created the genre. So let’s assume the band was listening to Panic! At The Disco whilst making this record instead.
That would explain songs like the heavy synth driven, Awful, which chops and changes to bright pianos swells. Or the Owl City sounding opening and title track, which is layered with various effects spread evenly to support the vocals, which are at the extreme forefront of every song.
A moment were the vocals do shine however are the harmonised a capellas of Lost At Sea which are heavily melodic and annoyingly catchy, or Until I Die Alone, which is another number with melody lines that can’t be ignored.
Never Shout Never are advancing and doing their best to keep themselves relevant by finding new musical ground to tread however the underlying elements, essentially all Christofer Drew related, are still present. So if he is not someone you like, it is doubtful that will ever change regardless of how it is wrapped, but if you can get past that, then there is worse music out there than this.
1. Time Travel
3. Silver Ecstasy
4. Simplistic Trace-Like Getaway
6. Until I Die Alone
7. Complex Heart
8. Lost At Sea