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Album Review: Never Shout Never - Time Travel

Never Shout Never are a group with humble beginnings, true children of the MySpace age and one of the few remaining relics of the social network’s success (besides such gems of the internet as Tom Anderson’s Facebook page). The success of Never Shout Never may earn a snide look from the cynics if only for the fact that vocalist Christofer Drew’s first name is spelled with an ‘f’ rather than a ‘ph’; however, it’s hard to deny that a comeback following tragedy is an impressive feat.

On May 22nd, 2011 a tornado wreaked havoc on the band’s hometown of Joplin, Missouri after which the band’s status was implemented to raise money for relief.

Mere months later, they released 'Time Travel'.

It begins with a very pleasant synth-led riff, opening with title track ‘Time Travel’, the same track used in Drew’s video urging people to help raise funds for Joplin.

It goes without saying that the technology mastered on this track truly makes this song, a well-rounded knowledge of the virtual music studio is unleashed to create an almost beautiful arrangement with the very ambient effects that made Imogen Heap’s ‘Hide and Seek’ and Fightstar’s ‘You & I’ so great.

This is not to say there are no flaws, Never Shout Never are by no means lyrical geniuses, however, the melody even the most questionable words are set against is enough to excuse even the most clichéd of couplets.

Mastery of the mixing desk is shown yet again in ‘Awful’, a track that seems to draw much of its inspiration from Pink Floyd and the critically acclaimed ‘Dark Side of The Moon’; with studio FX, particularly those used to boost the power of Drew’s voice, one that seems to have been crafted for acoustic music and yet with a little help from double-tracking and a multitude of tinkering works beautifully amongst even the heavies segments of a record that offers a pleasant surprise to any skeptics.

Perhaps the tightest musician in the group however, would be drummer Caleb Denison, whose rhythmic chops are most prominent in ‘Simplistic Trance-Like Getaway’, a song that has all the joy and hope of an animé opening song and the backing vocals to boot.

After listening to the album all the way through, it becomes clear even to the musical layperson that the number of influences going into Never Shout Never is huge, even merging them together to create tracks like ‘Robot’ that appears to merge the styles of Radiohead, The Killers and MGMT. This is truly a band that adores music and gets its kicks from being a part of that world it loves so much.

This truly comes across with a fiery passion that should be enough to persuade anyone that even by its third album, Never Shout Never is far from becoming stale.


'Time Travel' is out now.

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