Bursting with variety, so much so that at times you are not sure where the band’s intention with their sound is going, it has to be said that UnEvolution is one rather enjoyable and memorable encounter. The second album from UK alternative rock band Never A Hero explores a much broader landscape of sounds and imagination than that tagging suggests. It does not always come off as potently in places as in others, and the album is soaked in a familiarity assumedly bred from inspirations, but still the release is one fun and highly appetising enjoyment.
Never A Hero emerged in 2009 when members from two bands came together to write and create new music well away from their usual styles. Debut EP Socially Awkward was recorded and unveiled in 2010, its re-release two years later awakening even greater attention. Between its outings though, the band were already finding radio airplay as well as TV coverage through debut single From Heroes To Angels, a success pushed on by second single Trippin’ On Speed and its video in 2011. Their first album Bleed Between The Lies was released at the end of 2012 to potent responses as subsequent singles taken from it like Burning Skies. Now they have just uncaged its successor UnEvolution, laying down rich bait for its arrival on a UK tour, and already it is making an open stir on the British rock scene.
The post hardcore like A Thousand Days Wasted opens things up, the track just glancing past one minute in length but in that turbulent time already hinting away that there may be much more lying in wait in the depths and invention of any song than revealed on its surface. This is soon evidenced by Mr Munchausen, an energetically striding slice of rock ‘n’ roll from its first breath and swiftly bringing metal and other heavy textures into play. Electronic tempting flirts away in the scenery of the evolving melodic rock encounter too, adding unpredictable and tantalising hues to the enjoyable roar of the song. Vocalist Phrixus has an excellent expression and quality to his voice and is just as strongly backed by the tones of guitarist Mickey Thin and bassist KB. As suggested there is a strong element of familiarity to songs on the album and rampant here but it only adds to the satisfaction. Sick Puppies and Fall Out Boy come to mind in varying ways, always good spices in a blaze of a song.
A breaking storm and the drama of strings opens up Nightboy next, the track soon striding purposefully with feisty riffs and warm melodies, heading to a potent chorus which it maybe me but amazingly has a healthy feel of Bryan Adams to it. Never thought healthy and that name would escape these fingers together. The guitars of Thin and Kaji 2.0 recruit keen attention to the song alone but with the scything beats of drummer Daisy Lai and the ever alluring vocals of Phrixus, it is another easily accessible and pleasing proposition.
Not Too Cool To Dance takes another turn in the album, its electro punk like stomp almost Hollywood Undead like whilst the rapping vocals has a touch of bands like G.R.I.M and Hadouken to them . It is a stonking start which loses its allure a touch with the following melodic relaxation, strength soon regained as a mix of styles creates a reserved but tempestuous proposal. Again the song wins out and joins the opening pair in leaving ears and thoughts thoroughly contented before making way for the electro meets alternative rock exploits of It’s The Way. Hard rock textures and melodic flames add to the tempting, as do excellent female vocals leading to a touch of Forever Still to the encounter, but ultimately the track does not have the spark of those before it and feels a little safe to be honest. Nevertheless it keeps the album’s potency high as does the electro/hard rock mixed offering The Crow That Follows You Home, it too not sparking the same flame of emotion as the first trio of songs but leaving ears and appetite for the release more than happy.
The orchestral piece God Is Complex brings an interlude next though its epic and evocative presence which rather than allow a breath to be taken brings new theatre and anticipation to the imagination before it embraces the following Kramer. Electro rock with a whiff of Nintendo-core merges with melodic rock, a blend the band increasingly does well and makes strong persuasions with across UnEvolution it has to be said. The track proceeds to stomp and bellow as guitars stir up its canvas and the bass provides a great dark almost sinister attitude to the boiling vocal emotion. It is a great track re-igniting early pleasures whilst again making you wonder what is the prime Never A Hero sound or it starting point.
The more classic hard rock embrace of Falling Up is next and has ears aligned with ease before The Idiots Are Winning bounds around with its tempestuous and openly infectious revelry. Once again a wide twist of styles are tangled to create a recognisable but contagiously magnetic slice of pop rock, this the best way to generally describe the album maybe. The theatrical Succubus sees a clash of mature melodic rock with a more basic street punk narrative, but with guttural roars, grooved infestations, and psyche lit drama breaking out, the song is nothing but thrilling persuasion, especially when it breaks into a fiery swing at one point.
The album ends with the Time To Crucify, a song though individual feels like a reprise of all that came before in one final tapestry of sound and flavours. It is a good end to an increasingly enjoyable encounter. Bands with vast diversity are the most exciting and potentially important bands in music, and that part of Never A Hero makes a good album a great offering. UnEvolution might not be the best album to hit the year so far but it is one of the more enjoyable and that works for us.
UnEvolution is out later this year @ http://www.neverahero.net/shop
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