WORDS: Laura McCarthy
For those still caught in the throes of the punk/emo music of the early noughties, when the likes of AIDEN, AFI and MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE were the deep and misunderstood champions of a disillusioned youth, NEVER FOUND would be a great band to throw into the mix. To pay testament to that, the four piece from Wales have in fact supported WILLIAM CONTROL and FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS. However, with their first EP Sorrow And Cyanide, the band doesn’t push themselves outside length of their peers shadows.
Initial track Just Like Hollywood is, unfortunately, a tad dull. There is that regular reliance on power chords, round and round of fills on the drums and the notion of despair and glamour of Hollywood within the lyrics. We all know these kinds of songs well, MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE and MARALYN MANSON before them all have been down this road. You could throw yourself around to this in your living room, but the whole thing is missing any heart.
This feels very much like a first attempt at a recording and perhaps the band would do with making the sound more rounded and fleshed out. The mix itself feels flat, and there’s not enough to go around musically to ignore that fact.
Choking Me, in which the riff is fairly catchy, is once again dragged down in the monotony of standard song writing, and a bland play through that is a little underwhelming.
Unfortunately Sorrow And Cyanide feels too bare bones- there’s no sense that this is anything more than a group of boys enjoying sort of copying their idols. While there’s nothing really wrong with that in its own right, when that is as far as it goes it doesn’t make for anything audiences really want to listen to.
Vocally there is a good scream within Dan Barners but regrettably his vocals aren’t given enough otherwise. That goes for the rest of the band- NEVER FOUND has mastered the art of chugging bass and guitars and a quick pound around the drums, but that again has been done so many times.
Track three King of Nothing is pretty bland. The angle NEVER FOUND have gone for in Sorrow And Cyanide doesn’t really have a huge demographic anymore, and with lyrics like, “What went so wrong with me, how’d I end up this way, I can’t control myself” many will only be reminded of their youths with a slight cringe.
Take Me Away feels a little more pumped up than the other tracks, but once again is such a monotone performance that there’s not much improvement. Perhaps this is the best track to end on, being a little more bouncy and energetic, but overall this isn’t saying much.
Sorrow And Cyanide appears to have a chip on its shoulder most fans of punk/emo music had a good decade ago. It doesn’t seem to care about how it sounds and that it brings nothing new to a scene that is, for the most part, long gone. Put simply, it feels like this genre had its moment in the sun, and the diminishing fans already have a back catalogue of more polished efforts than NEVER FOUND to focus their attentions on.
Sorrow And Cyanide is released October 31st 2015.