Nevermen – Nevermen (2016)

Album art for Nevermen's self titled debut album.

Nevermen – Nevermen

Nevermen is a collaborative album by Mike Patton, Tunde Adebimpe, and Adam “Doseone” Drucker.  It was released on January 29, 2016.

The leaderless trio attempts to create music that is just meant to be, they work to shed their egos and attempt to get at the heart of what they do. Throughout the songs of the Nevermen album one will explore hopes and fears, as well as wins and losses. The album wins their audiences by getting at the heart of the work because they carved careers out of what started simply as a dream.

The three voices of each of the member’s often intertwine and harmonize in a wonderful sounding union. There is a blending of different sounds in this album, that creates a wonderful and exceptional quality of different genres, such as industrial soul, metal, experimental hip-hop and pop, coming together and forming something that is worth a listen and worth deciphering.

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Track Listing:

Nevermen are a  trio with no frontman and each track is listed as “Nevermen” as the artist for each one.

  1. Dark Eyes

    This introductory song to the album focuses on foreshadowing the things to come on this debut album with hip hop  vocals.

    Duration: 3:35

  2. Treat Em’ Right

    This song has upbeat drums and falsetto vocals

    Duration: 2:19

  3. Wrong Animal Right Trap

    Contains an Underworld meets metal sound and vibe

    Duration: 3:24

  4. Tough Towns

    The first single from this album, salutes cities like Pittsburgh and Cleveland, as well as making one feel inspired by the “nowhere” where on is from, as well as asking whether you can change yourself and transcend the person you were when you lived in a certain place.

    Duration: 5:09

  5. Hate On

    Minimal song, that is not about modern haters, but about how music has changed and how people’s appreciation of music has changed.

    Duration: 4:30

  6. Mistake

    Gives a lot of mellow feels, as well as having orchestration and acoustic guitar.

    Duration: 2:46

  7. Shellshot

    More of a hip hop person and is about being shoved into a promotion and having to take pictures, i.e. instagram and how dealing with that can be awkward and strange.

    Duration: 4:45

  8. At Your Service

    Has a spooked dub hop introduction that begins to morph into a slinkier and more vicious crashing and bleeping, much like that of a faulty production line.

    Duration: 2:54

  9. Non Babylon

    Delves into the idea of the frontman digesting himself.

    Duration: 3:13

  10. Fame, Pt 2: The Wreckoning

    This song starts low key and then kicks in with drums and begins to sound like an 80s pop song or rather has that feeling of a nostalgic time.

    Duration: 5:49

Production

The Nevermen album was produced without interference or without any money being spent. It was made and produced by all members of Nevermen and released through Mike Patton’s own independent record label, Ipecac Recording. Patton was also the one to shape the sessions and give them a coherence and structure when they worked. There was also no need to finish the album quickly, as album sessions reportedly began in 2008, when the group formed.

Adebimpe and Doseone sent their in-person, collaborative demos to Patton. Taking their time allowed Nevermen songs to become what they needed to be. It was created by all frontmen, no other musicians were involved, except for the Chapman Brothers.

According to the group, “The best thing about it was there was no space to think about our other projects whenever we got together. So it’s just you, hanging out with your friends and thinking things are sounding great.” What came about are completely succinct and continuous rhyming poems with everyone’s voices and melodic talents. The goal of this supergroup was to release this album as a piece of art, since they flawlessly cross genres between each of their different backgrounds and musical stylings within the tracks of the album. It’s a creative collaboration between the trio on all fronts.

Album Artwork

The artwork for the album was created by Keith Tyson. An English artist who won the 2002 Turner Prize. Tyson’s work is concentrated on an interest in generative systems and an embrace of the complexity and the interconnectedness of existence.

Reviews

The reviews of this album are all fairly positive, with a few outliers. The reviews do agree on one thing, that even though Nevermen are a trio of only frontmen, each member brings and unexpectedly diverse and stylistic palette to the album. They work the experimental sound to their favor and are able to sound both avant-garde and familiar at the same time. The overall consensus is best summed up by The Monolith, “Nevermen is certainly more delight than disappointment, and definitely worth the wait.”

“The Nevermen debut was promising […] Cool positive music, upbeat vibe. Vocal concepts are cool with the artists involved working so well as a team. You can tell there are no egos involved.” – The Write Life, 2017

“When all three voices join together with the precision of a diamond laser-cutter they’re and unparalleled force.” – Consequences of Sound, 2016

“[…] thanks to a heap of passion, this side project feels like a surprising success, even when it feels a bit much. It’s the right kind of rewarding challenge.” –New Noise Magazine, 2016

“So many jerks of the steering wheel may not be for the faint of heart, but the trio coheres remarkably well, and the blizzard of ideas works like regular blasts of fresh oxygen or caffeine or both.” – Under the Radar Mag, 2016

“With a complementary range and at times uncanny similarity between them, the three voices often intertwine and harmonize in ecstatic union, from Tough Towers’ roaring crescendo and the rapid fire gang chorus that underpins At Your Service to Mr. Mistake’s choral calm. A refined supertrio for the ages.” – The Skinny, 2016

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