I wanna start a band. At least that’s the way Bay Area punks Never Young‘s new self-titled EP on Father/Daughter Records makes me feel. I’m not going to. Been there, done that etc.etc. It’s just that when I hear records like this I miss playing, tripping over leads, banging teeth off a microphone, nudging the guitar volume up bit by bit after every song. Most of all I miss the satisfaction when you’re lost in the middle of the bedlam, the deafening, almost indecipherable noise you’re creating that probably makes no sense to anyone other than yourself. At that very moment, it’s perfect. Satisfaction, that’s definitely the right word.
It takes about 45 seconds of ‘Like a Version’, the previously shared opener of this EP, to make me feel like this. It’s when the drums kick in over a weird digital soundscape and then a killer riff explodes through the speakers. The rest of the song keeps the momentum going. Guitars and unintelligible howled vocals, it all sounds threatening, anxious, desperate. There is a slight breather during the chorus and some actual singing breaks out but the menace still lurks. If this is your first introduction to Never Young (it was mine) then you’re in for a treat in the form of an aural electric shock.
Breath back. There’s three more songs to consider and while they don’t carry the same frenetic energy as the opener they are also well worth your time. ‘Ur a Front’ cuts the pace down a little but certainly not the volume. You can feel the guitar strings yelping in pain as they’re twisted and battered for the desired effect. ‘Spectacle Boy’ brings more of a post-rock dirge to the table. A slowly spiralling verse leads to a bruising guitar riff reminiscent of Nirvana at their least radio-friendly, songs like ‘Milk It’ or anything of the Incesticide b-side. Closing track ‘Crigsaw’ moves towards shoegaze, loaded with fuzz, a little more melody and a bouncing bass line. I’m reminded very much of Cheatahs and that’s only ever a good thing.
Never Young sounds like 90’s punk, toying with hardcore in places and sounds like a slightly cleaned up Ovlov or Radiator Hospital (or Sonic Youth, of course). They like to add digital elements to their music but on this evidence it doesn’t distract from the blunt-force guitar attack that dominates their sound. This is Never Young’s second release on Father / Daughter. Why have I never listened to the first one? I think I’m scared it’ll be nowhere near as good. For now I’ll keep enjoying these four tracks but undoubtably I’ll delve into the back catalogue soon enough. However, it’s not the past that excites me about Never Young, it’s the future.
Never Young release the Never Young EP on Father/Daughter Records on 10th March – buy it here