By Carter Hickman, Contributor
Key Tracks: “Dark Ear,” “Tough Towns”
Nevermen is an experimental rap/rock group, formed by TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Faith No More’s Mike Patton and rapper Doseone, who is involved with multiple small groups, such as Themselves, Subtle and cLOUDDEAD. Nevermen’s self-titled debut album brings influence from each one of these very different and unique artists, such as Doseone’s nasally raps, Adebimpe’s soothing vocals and the spikes of Patton’s feverish yells.
It’s obvious that Adebimpe is the leader of the group, as the instrumentation sounds a lot like TV on the Radio’s 2011 release Nine Types of Light, featuring ambient guitar tones and relaxed drum beats. In addition to this, Nevermen includes much more experimental and spacey computer generated sounds, which was probably Doseone’s main addition to the instrumentation. Patton’s influence is also evident, as flashes of Faith No More can be found sprinkled in all songs, especially in “Non Babylon” and “Shellshot.”
The first 40 seconds of the album, which make up part of the song “Dark Ear,” are very dark and captivating, setting the tone for the rest of the album. But once the chorus passes, the songs takes a distasteful turn. Patton’s stuck-in-the-’90s screams do not compliment Adebimpe’s vocals, and Doseone sounds out-of-place.
Every song on the rest of the album is similar, containing very inviting intros, yet lacking interesting melodies. As soon as vocals kick in on every track, the song sounds like it’s having an identity crisis. This is especially evident on “Tough Towns,” as the vocals don’t compliment each other and only Adebimpe’s voice compliments the instrumentation.
Despite all of these drawbacks, the production on the album is very well done and brings some new, refreshing, experimental sounds. However, these sounds just didn’t end up in the right hands (or should I say mouths?) I wouldn’t expect a great outcome if Yelawolf, Chris Cornell and Kele Okereke got together to make an album, and that weird fantasy scenario is similar to what Nevermen actually is. The combination is interesting, and it could end up being incredible, but sometimes it’s hard to overcome differences to create something beautiful (take Congress, for example). All in all, every song had potential, but didn’t deliver.
P.S. “At Your Service” sounds dangerously similar to something off Tech N9Ne’s All 6’s and 7’s.