When one acquires a certain level of maturity, it comes with more than an expanding waistline, graying hair, and debt. Such as a perspective on cultural shifts. Take the Anglo-American fivesome (from Scotland and SoCal) Neverever. A good portion of its debut, Angelic Swells, sounds as if a small AM radio was receiving broadcasts from 1964-66. Its chief influences — Sixties girl groups, The Kinks, Motown, the angst-laden symphonic pop of Dusty Springfield and Gene Pitney — were once mainstream, and now seem almost as distant as country blues. The more "modern" aspects of Neverever's approach — explosively urgent and streamlined songs, terse, chiming, and clanging guitars — recall late-Seventies new wave combos Blondie, Echo & the Bunnymen, and the Plimsouls, and now those styles have become practically mainstream.
Angelic Swells feels like it's both contemporary and lost in time — the production is so lo-fi, dark, echoing, and monolithic it could've been recorded in Phil Spector's bathroom. Yet unlike some lo-fi efforts, Neverever doesn't go overboard. Jihae Meek's singing — at times a ringer for Debbie Harry circa the first three Blondie albums — poignantly conveys both tuff-gal swagger and adolescent melodrama, while her lyrics ring with here-and-now acuity.
The band delivers lean power-pop resolve with a touch of garage-y snarl. Like the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir and The Aislers Set, Neverever has found its very own Twilight Zone wherein musical eras dovetail and high drama is never far away. (Slumberland)
Culture Spy - January 18, 10:25 AM
Seven Days - January 18, 9:41 AM
Seven Days - January 17, 10:52 PM
What the Fork - January 17, 1:52 PM
Seven Days - January 16, 3:41 PM