Saturday, 7 January 2012

Review: Never Shout Never - Time Travel

 Last year saw 20 year old musician Christopher Drew performing under the alias of Never Shout Never gaining a considerable amount of notoriety, with many people believing he could very well be the next big thing in pop rock. Hell, "Never Shout Never" was a trending topic on Twitter for a while, before masses of rabid Justin Bieber fans invaded with full force writing "NO! IT'S "SAY" NOT "SHOUT" and stuff. Third album Time Travel sees some changes occurring with the act now becoming a full band with a bigger fanbase. And I must say on listening to the album that if this is the future of pop rock... God help us.

 See, pop rock is already disrespected enough in the world of rock music. Some examples, I think I'm the only male in the world who enjoys All Time Low (as well as the only person who seems to realise they actually make music and aren't just poster boys) while the rest of the fanbase seems to be predominately made up of annoying thirteen year old girls. Similarly, I can only think of one other guy who possesses a You Me At Six album. (Hey Russel!) When talking to other people around me who like their rock and metal, bands like these generally generate laughter and dismissal. The only times bands like these could be enjoyed by people around me would be if I were to play it in my school's common room. (Ah, the music of the common room. Possible source material of a future rant.) I would like to see pop rock gain more credibility and respect in the world of rock music and there are some examples of it happening. But if Never Shout Never become any bigger than they already are, then such prospects are pretty much screwed.
 Time Travel is pretty much filled with various techniques that make me hate music. Simplistic Trance-Like Getaway and Silver Ecstasy gives listeners the sensation of being suffocated by sugary sweetness, a feeling that some may enjoy (pop) and that others absolutely detest. (rock) Personally, I find it relentlessly annoying.
 The emphasis on the more pop-influenced side of their music is very clear and never picks up at any point. With this in mind, Drew's repetition of the line "I sold my soul for rock and roll" on the title track will seem like a slap in face to many listeners. If you sold your soul for rock and roll, why don't you fucking play some ROCK AND ROLL?!?!? It's particularly annoying when if one considers songs like Robot and Until I Die Alone which seem to be begging to have some hard riffs fitted into the chorus but are instead dominated by extra layers of synthesizers. The synthesizers on this album are also pretty wimpy as a simple backdrop mixed with electronic bleeping in the background does not suggest any synth rock strength. Only pretentiousness.
 So, this may be an album that some people will like but frankly, as a rock album, it sounds weak and lame and as a pop album it sounds very dated. Once again pop rock has given us an act which won't allow the genre to appeal to rock fans. Who knows, it sounds like something that might be enjoyed by everyone in the common room. Or at least wouldn't make people shout "Turn that crap off!" Which roughly translates as most things that Good old Patrick and I would play.
Never Shout Never's Time Travel is out now via Warner Bros. The band will tour the UK in January.

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