Nevermen describe themselves as a leaderless trio. Trading vocal duties from track to track and verse to verse, “the frontman”, they say, “digests itself” as they try to stick resolutely to their collectivist manifesto. It should, then, be interesting to see how the three distinct musical personalities of Doseone, TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, and Faith No More’s Mike Patton are synthesised to form a single whole. But while their self-titled debut is a decent collection of psychedelic pop songs, Adebimpe’s influence is of such strength and singularity that the album generally comes off as an extended TV On The Radio outtake, a fact that is all the more disappointing for the album’s bloated gestation period – ‘Nevermen’ has been in the works in one form or another since around 2008.

Fortunately, not everything falls into this category and it’s in tracks like lead single ‘Tough Towns’, a caustic trip-hop melee, and the epic electronic meditation of ‘Hate On’, where it really succeeds. Indeed, even ‘Non Babylon,’ an odd fusion of hip-hop and musical theatre, which jars after a while, is at least interesting for its courage to explore new territory.

Too often, however, as in the opening triptych of ‘Dark Ear’, ‘Treat ’Em Right’ and ‘Wrong Animal, Right Trap’, we hear nothing new – certainly not from Adebimpe’s camp – meaning that ‘Nevermen’ never really moves beyond mere vanity project.


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