Nevermen ‘Nevermen’ Album Review: Long-in-the-works collaboration between Mike Patton, Doseone, and Tunde Adebimpe sounds as wonderfully weird as you’d hope.
Supergroups are a curious musical phenomenon. What sounds amazing on paper can become overwhelming upon completion with the “too many cooks” scenario.
But the self-titled début from Nevermen, featuring Mike Patton, TV on The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Adam Drucker (aka Doseone) sticks the landing, offering a wild kaleidoscope of sound and inventive wordplay.
That’s aided by their wide disparities in vocal styles: Patton’s six-octave pipes, Adebimpe’s helium croon and Drucker’s gruff delivery coexist and collide in weird and wonderful ways, rarely stepping on each other’s toes, and occasionally blurring the lines of where one vocalist begins and another ends.
Opener Dark Ear kicks off with swirling psychedelic textures that bounce like a pinball around the trio’s syncopated delivery–punctuated by Adebimpe’s rallying cry To the hell no! amidst hallelujah hand claps.
Befitting a Patton production, it’s a diverse crazy quilt of an album: the solemn and gritty Tough Towns feels like a hybrid of Gorillaz and Massive Attack, while Wrong Animal, Right Trap diffuses rap verses and cooing background harmonies through shoegaze guitar blasts.
The album closes with Fame II: The Wreckoning (concluding the album’s abstract concept of notions of celebrity, expectations and commerce).
It’s a hypnotic track, with the group singing the repeated refrain: One day might you get to the flame of what you are?
It feels like a mission statement, perhaps brought about by three musicians bobbing and weaving like gracious prize-fighters through a sonic stew, and gaining inspiration and renewal through the process.