Thursday, March 10, 2016

No mistake

 (ugly crying)

Let's get the obvious out of the way - I'm obsessed with Mike Patton and I'm a huge FNM fangirl. No problems with that, no shame - he's a fascinating musician and FNM is a bloody fantastic band. Now. Patton's been busy. After the release of Sol Invictus with FNM last year Patton's label put out Nevermen, a self-titled album, created by vocal trio Mike Patton, Dosone, and Tunde Adebimpe only six days before the experimental vocalist announced that his second record with John Kaada was going to come out in April.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck I can't begin to tell you how excited that makes me.

But anyway. Nevermen. It's out, it's a great album, the tour is cancelled (which is making me miserable) and if there's a second album it's probably going to be a decade in the making. Which sucks because, again, it's a great album.

I've been hearing the sound described as industrial (and deranged, and electronic, and hypnotic) doo-wop, which is certainly accurate but also doesn't do justice to the complicated vocal layering that is present through every single minute of the record. My favorite song on the album (and also the first single released to tease the whole brilliant thing), "Tough Towns," is spine-tingling and melodic and full of snapping and spoken word in addition to the multi-layered melodies and harmonizing and just this tremendous, dizzying DEPTH to the sound. This song aches, it begs to be heard and demands your attention through the plaintive voices of the three powerful singers and the relentless praise-inspired beat.

The whole album sounds haunted. It sounds like sad voices moving down empty alleys or echoing off abandoned auditorium walls. Sometimes it's celebratory and bright, cheerfully marching along and cooing to the listener in a grating falsetto (as in the second single, "Mr. Mistake" - the only song on the album with a music video as of this writing), sometimes the music is sardonic and the singers sarcastic - "Non Babylon" is a great example; it's a song sung by a vocal trio, who insist there's no lead in their band, all about deriding frontmen (and I can't help but imagine that Mike Patton is envisioning The Real Thing era Mike Patton as the target for all the digs in the song).

There's some beautiful nonsense going on in the lyrics that doesn't seem so nonsensical while you're listening to the album. "Wrong Animal, Right Trap" has a mindless refrain of "this will simply not work, like barbed wire on pollen" that is repeated enough to almost make the words themselves lose meaning but since it's a song about containment it doesn't quite mesh as nonsense - after all, barbed wire IS a terrible method of trapping pollen. It's hard to describe - I can't properly discuss the non-nonsense in the songs without sharing the lyrics but as yet there aren't any lyrics available so I suppose you'll just have to go listen to the song above, then watch the "Mr. Mistake" video, then check out "Hate On," and then start getting into the remixes that Nevermen have shared.

Or you could go to the Ipecac Recordings merch site and buy the CD but it sounds like you might have to do a lot of searching and it might be hard if I hadn't turned this sentence into a direct link to buy Nevermen. Which you should do. Because it's a great album.

     - Alli

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