Perhaps not quite the heros they wanted to be…
Review by Kristian Pugh
Release date: 3 August 2015
Being an alternative rock band can be a bit of a poisoned chalice; on the one hand no one is going to criticise you for taking risks with your music since you’re ‘alternative’; on the other, there seems to be such a flurry of alternative rock music surrounding the genre these days that it can be quite a challenge to sound different and make a name for yourself. For Sudbury’s Never A Hero, they made a name for themselves with previous album Bleed Between The Lines with its riffy, edgy and at times heavy sound. Now in their sixth year since formation and with a host of experience under them, the general consensus was that with new record UnEvolution, Never A Hero were ready to break the mould and head through the lengthy chasm that is recognition in the rock music industry.
With early effort in the record ‘Falling Up’ the notion of the five-piece climbing the ranks of the industry doesn’t seem an unrealistic one, with its light-hearted yet pacey chorus and intensely captivating mellow final verse the song puts itself on a pedestal that is hard to follow. Unfortunately, this is the peak of the record, as what descends is a crescendo of naivety, mediocrity and the downright bizarre.
Songs such as ‘It’s The Way’ and ‘Not Too Cool To Dance’ in all honesty carry an interesting sound but ultimately have the same lyrical downfall, with the latter including speedy, rap-style vocals and Justin Bieber references that simply feel out of place and unnecessary. While the former sports lyrics such as “It’s the way that you move, it’s the way that you laugh” which seem unimaginative and lacklustre, it is a theme that is carried throughout the record.
When done right, the use of electronica in metal can add depth and intelligence to the song exceptionally well, bands such as Crossfaith and Enter Shikari have proven this time and time again, however when not used correctly it can seem bland and as if it is there, for the sake of it. ‘Kramer’ falls into this trap, while the lyricism is still not particularly overly impressive, the electronic sound and hardcore vocals of “Just roll the fucking dice” seem thrown in just for effect and subsequently result in a strange and confusing song.
Tracks like ‘Nightboy’ and ‘The Idiots Are Winning’ aren’t bad songs, and both carry punchy and catchy choruses however they lack the ability to carry a hook throughout the whole song and are both noticeably flat bar the odd sing-along “na-na-na-na” and “Wooowwww”. It is in these moments that Never A Hero are ultimately searching for a breakout song without quite being able to accomplish it.
UnEvolution is a frustrating listen, because Never A Hero have proved that they are in fact a good band with a large amount of talent, however due to a lack of innovation and depth, UnEvolution has become a disheartening product that while is not a total disaster, does not overly impress either.
4 out of 10
- A Thousand Days Wasted
- Falling Up
- God (Is) Complex
- It’s The Way
- Not Too Cool To Dance
- The Crow That Follows You Home
- The Idiots Are Winning
- Time To Crucify