Faster Louder (Read More)
Mike Patton interview, the first in some time.
Mike Patton talks to JODY MACGREGOR about how he put his “dick on the chopping board” working with Tunde Adebimpe from TV On The Radio and emcee Adam Drucker aka Doseone on their new collaboration NEVERMEN.
Is it a strange feeling, that the thing is done and you just have to wait for people to hear it?
I wouldn’t say strange, it’s kind of a relief to be honest. Especially with a project like this that took quite a while to form and to become a real animal. Really just finishing it was therapy in itself and now that it’s done preparing the live thing is a whole different exercise. Me, personally, when I finish a record it’s a document – it’s a snapshot of what I was doing at a certain time period of my life, a certain headspace, and then you let it go. It’s like having a child and you watch it grow up. ‘Hey, it’s time to leave the house! Go get a job.’ Now we toss this thing out into the world and it makes its own way so to speak. We’ll play live and support it but to me the live show’s a completely different frame of mind. I’m sure it will be with this project as well.
Consequence Of Sound (Read More)
Tunde Adebimpe talks about breaking supergroup rules and exploring mysteries as an artist.
Nevermen: The Leaderless Supergroup BY LIOR PHILLIPS
Adam went back to the west coast and had done some stuff with Mike in the past. He was the one that got the idea that it would be great if the three of us did something together. Slowly we added a little bit more production. Adam tackled all the scalable stuff, but then the handover to Mike was like putting the music in surround sound, and it felt like spaceships were flying all over.
We had this unspoken agreement that any time we all have a little bit of time, we will work on stuff together if we happen to be in the same place or at least shoot [each other] emails. Then, last year, everything started getting tied up, and we chose the songs and knew which ones were good for the record. The whole project just had a great shape to it. Also, three years ago is when we brought along Keith Tyson, a British artist, to start doing our artwork, which turned into him becoming the “fourth member” as we like to call him. So the idea was always to release this project as a piece of art.
3.5 / 4
Ever since introducing himself to the world with Faith No More's The Real Thing in 1989, Mike Patton has been defined by near-superhuman levels of vocal dexterity and a creative restlessness that borders on ADHD, trying everything from avant-garde composition to Italian opera to the surf rock-death metal hybrids of Mr. Bungle. He might have finally met his vocal match in TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, a singer who's been shaping art-rock and soul music into fascinating new forms for more than a decade. The debut album from Nevermen – a new group formed by Patton, Adebimpe and underground hip-hop hero Adam "Doseone" Drucker (best known for his work with Anticon/cLOUDDEAD) – finds the three artists pushing the capabilities of their voices to the breaking point, and their cohorts to keep up.
Some hints of TV On The Radio's glamorous grime and cLOUDHEAD's murky thump are present, but Nevermen seem intent on not retreading past accomplishments. With their intricately stitched ping-pong vocals, tennis-ball-in-a-washing-machine beats and acid-house keyboard blasts, the group often resembles a less whimsical Animal Collective, especially on the industrial doo-wop of "Treat Em Right" and the cyclone of shredded melodies of "At Your Services." Certain stretches of the album, such as "Hate On," could have benefitted from one or two less layers of sonic abstraction and a bit more breathing room. But the interlocking harmonies, call-and-response lead turns and unexpected acoustic riffs of "Mr Mistake" show that these weirdos can do pop on their own terms whenever they want to.
By John Langlands
Some eight years since they first teased the possibility, maverick Anticon co-founder Doseone (‘mind’), TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe (‘heart’) and ever-prolific Ipecac co-honcho Mike Patton (‘body’) emerge from the kitchen with Nevermen’s first serving.
“Don’t rush the fuckin’ music," they warned. Now to reward your patience; presented as a rule-discarding labour of love for the trio, the results are a timeless, genre-smashing work with a psychedelic soul. Inevitably, fans of any constituent member will find vivid snatches of past guises strewn across the debut's ten tracks, but the collective whole works toward something more, determined to dart off into the unknown at every labyrinthine lyrical turn.
With a complementary range and at times uncanny similarity between them, the three voices often intertwine and harmonise in ecstatic union, from Tough Towns’ roaring crescendo and the rapid fire gang chorus that underpins At Your Service to Mr Mistake’s choral calm. A refined supertrio for the ages.
An intriguing melding of contrarian talents... By Ben Hopkins
Nevermen’s initial press shot showed the trio sporting t-shirts featuring logos from god awful corporations such as The Church of Scientology and Whitesnake. It was fitting given that the trio - Doseone, TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Faith No More chameleon Mike Patton - are professionals contrarians: artists who are unlikely to take the easy path or do the obvious thing. It’s a quality that permeates this long-in-the-works debut.
As much as combining such talents very much sounds like A Good Idea, a first spin of the record is akin to trying to cram three erections into one orifice: it’s excellent in theory, but in practice there’s too much busywork going on to fully satisfy anyone. Bit by bit, however, the dissonance and contrasts interweave into a tapestry that’s much more logical than is first apparent.
Barely a split-second passes by without one of three crooning or rapping in the foreground or harmonising and hollering and croaking and quacking in the back. Once you overcome the feeling of being hassled by a troop of tantrumous toddlers, the structural underpinnings of the songs come to the fore and allow these occasionally genius moments of vocal interplay to reveal their mesmeric minutiae.
Given the calibre of the talent involved it’s unsurprisingly to discover that no-one truly dominates proceedings. Inevitably it sounds a lot TV On The Radio simply because Adebimpe’s voice is the most obviously distinct of this free-flowing tag-team, but there are more than echoes of the sinister, reassembled productions of Doseone’s cLOUDDEAD and the bigger moments from Patton’s paranoid pop pastiche Peeping Tom.
Although largely a strong body of work, the album’s borderline moments of geniune greatness - 'Hate On', 'Dark Ear' and 'Mr. Mistake', the latter of which is surely the most sonically soothing track to reference a nuclear winter - aren’t replicated with any real consistency. They probably hate the term, but Nevermen are a supergroup whose strong debut only sporadically hurtles towards the collective power that its participants can potentially rise to. How predictable. Hey, I thought you guys were contrarians!
Nevermen: Faith No More tune into TV on the Radio. By Jim Caroll
There’s plenty of experimental moxie and musical-muscle flexing going on in this new supergroup – Faith No More’s Mike Patton, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Adam “Doseone” Drucker of Clouddead.The sweet spot here carries flashes of what they do for a living with their other groups, yet there’s never a sense that we’re getting the greatest hits treatment by proxy.Instead, tracks Dark Ear, Tough Times and especially the wonderful Mr Mistake are imprinted with a great wonky sense of what constitutes a pop riff, full of strange, weirdbeard ideas, dashes and notions.The album has been long in the works, so some tunes sound as if they’re stuck back in 2008 or 2009. But for the most part, Nevermen provides fascinating insights into where the threesome’s collective heads are at when freed from their other duties.
NEVERMEN REDEFINES SUPERGROUP ON EPONYMOUS DEBUT. By James Roberts
Despite being comprised of three artistic heavyweights—Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio; Mike Patton of Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle, and countless other projects; and Adam ‘doseone’ Drucker, who, as founder of Anticon and cLOUDDEAD, was at the forefront of new school experimental hip hop—it would be wrong to classify Nevermen as a supergroup, though I can think of no other label that might qualify as a descriptor. I suppose it all depends on how we want to define a supergroup. Is it merely a band formed by existing, already established artists, or does the term imply something different—namely that the parties involved each have their unique voices, recognizably their own, added to a chorus of other heavyweights?
If we define in using the former guidelines, then sure, Nevermen are a supergroup. But I think that might be a mischaracterization of the term. When I think “supergroup” I think Traveling Wilburys or The Highwaymen or Damn Yankees. I picture a wild tornado of egos vying for recognition in a battle to let themselves shine through at the expense of the project as a whole. In this regard, Nevermen are far from a supergroup.
Semantics, I know, and you might not be wrong for disagreeing with my definitions. But with their debut, eponymous record, Nevermen buck all the standards of traditionalism. Outward appearances are meaningless in the face of the staggering gigantism of their intents and results. Nevermen might appear to be a supergroup, but the reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s no attempt here to outshine or outdo each other. No, Patton, Adebimpe, and Drucker have instead created something entirely new and entirely its own thing, and never do Nevermen attempt to rest their laurels on their histories.
Nevermen is a difficult, challenging record that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense with just a single listen. It’s truly a product of its members, a wild amalgam of three geniuses at play. Disjointed initial impressions coalesce into tangible soundscapes with subsequent spins, offering rich rewards for the faithful who welcome the journey. Nevermen don’t just cross genres, they destroy them and reconstruct them into something new and unrecognizable. The base elements—rock, pop, soul, hip hop—shine through in fits and starts, creating fascinating layers of sound that entice the listener down a rabbit hole that could only be dug by these three heavyweights.
At no point is the spotlight ever fully on any of its three frontmen; the mad scientists behind the group share the effort beautifully, each bringing their own artistic philosophies to the table to create a stylistic bouillabaisse that defies categorization. While it’s true that each of the artists involved take turns singing—at times recalling a sort of evolution of early hip hop’s “call and response” routines–at no point do those involved make attempts to outshine each other or let their own personalities take the forefront. Instead, Nevermen is a three-headed beast. Regardless of which head might be on the mic at any given moment, attention can never fully be taken away from the others.
Which isn’t to say that their voices are unrecognizable. Far from it. Fans of any one of Nevermen’s collective will instantly be familiar with the contributions of their favorite. Patton’s familiar range, Adebimpe’s sultry voice, and doseone’s nasally intonations are all present, but the three disparate voices work in a kind of unison, forging a Frankenstein’s monster of pop that is greater than the sum of its parts.
This dynamic is at play from Nevermen’s earliest moments; album opener “Dark Ear” finds all three contributors singing together and then fading into each other over an intense, guitar fueled track with an undeniable rhythm that grabs you by the head and forces you to nod along. However, while it might serve as a general overview of what a listener can expect from the record, never are the surprises given away.
As rock fueled as “Dark Ear” is, one need only to skip to track three, “Wrong Animal Right Trap,” to see the vastness of their influences and their intents. The song skips from hip hop, with all three contributors throwing in lines of a single verse, to an ethereal pop dreamscape and back again at the drop of a hat, deftly refusing attempts at pigeonholing by audiences or critics.
Never is the dynamic more apparent than on the record’s penultimate track, “Non Babylon.” Here, the frontmen trade off not lines but words, using their individual efforts to showcase their greater whole, truly becoming a single voice. “The frontman digests its self,” they intone, serving as a kind of thesis for the entire project.
Indeed, as much as they are all frontmen, there is no frontman here. This is shared effort, absent of the egotism normally found in supergroups. You can’t appreciate Nevermen as a fan of any one of its members. This isn’t an extension of Tomahawk, TV on the Radio, or cLOUDDEAD. Anyone hoping for an evolution of familiar sounds will be left largely in the dark here. No, this is entirely its own thing, marking new and uncharted territory for everyone involved. By staunchly avoiding the trappings normally found within the supergroup, Patton, Adebimbe, and doseone have created a new group that just so happens to be super.
Nevermen debut album out today. Started this drawing at the very beginning of the process 7 years ago. Finished it today ... #nevermen #vinyl #doseone #mikepatton #tundeadebimpe #keithtyson #nevermenmusic #albumcover #newmusic #tvontheradio #faithnomore #mrbungle #anticon #painting #badteddy #thattookages #theend
By Zoe Camp
Back in 2009, Idaho poet-rapper Adam Drucker (aka Doseone, also of Themselves and Subtle) announced the birth of a hydra known as Nevermen, a collaboration between himself, Faith No More's Mike Patton, and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe. The trio of frontmen were to be joined by visual artists the Chapman Brothers, two members of the Young British Artists movement, whose job was to translate the music to a visual medium. Seven years of silence later, the Chapmans are out, along with the project's multimedia ambitions. But not this 10-track album; they've kept their word.Nevermen may only be a trio (and a trio of frontmen, natch) but each member of the group brings an unexpectedly diverse stylistic palette to the record. Adebimpe represents the weird-yet-relatable world of indie rock, while Doseone offers lyrical abstractions like "barbed wire on pollen" and "man hands on fire" as if they've been on his mind for days. And, of course, there's Patton: As the ringleader of a hard rock band known for genre experiments—not to mention a chronic collaborator who's worked with everyone from Norah Jones to Dan the Automator—there's nothing the chameleonic Patton can't do, and his fingerprints are all over Nevermen: on "Non Babylon"'s extended, faintly-operatic outtro (a freakout that wouldn't feel out of place on Faith No More's recent Sol Invictus), on the carnal, Slick Rick-referencing "Treat Em Right" (the chorus? "Treat 'em like a prostitute") and all over the mixing boards, which belie Patton's penchant for sinister contrasts (glitzy funk against distorted industrial samples, seas of guitar strata that engulf all rhythm and melody).Indeed, Nevermen's a very Patton-y album, coming off alternately as the poppy spiritual descendent of Mr. Bungle, or, on the weaker tracks, an unfocused, ornery answer to Peeping Tom—but where Patton yowled all over those releases, he's less of a vocal presence on Nevermen, which gives Adebimpe and Doseone's voices more attention. Rather than encourage his partners' cartoonish mischief, Adebimpe acts as referee, constructing his melodies to act as both common ground and common sense. As with TV on the Radio, his role in Nevermen lays in function rather than finesse, clarity over crescendoes—so it doesn't come as a huge surprise that his humble hooks on tracks like "Mr. Mistake" and "Tough Towns" rely on chirpy, garden-variety melodies. Were it not for Adebimpe's restrained, ever-so-atonal hook, "Shellshot" would collapse under the weight of its own edginess long before the ghastly Linkin Park outro; a similarly glam, glib refrain redeems "Treat Em Right," and his adamant "to the hell NO!" on "Dark Ear" is the closest Nevermen come to a fist-pumping, lighters-up moment.Nobody's accusing the band of being short on ideas—after seven years, they've assembled an extensive playbook indeed—but flitting from one chrome plaything to another gets exhausting quickly, especially when the toys in question are post-grunge, glitchy rap-rock (remember Flobots?), and impassable swathes of steel-wool synths. Imagine three demonic, wailing brats yanking you by the wrist through the toy store, straining in every direction to grab every last bauble off the shelves and shove it in your face: That's what listening to Nevermen is like. The album's best songs ("Tough Towns," "Fame II the Wreckoning," "Treat Em Right") temper the stream-of-consciousness and ramp up the atmosphere instead. When they resist the urge to troll (tell me a sardonic chorus that goes "Just like a tactical maniac/ I WANNA SHOOT YOUU" isn't trolling), Nevermen possess a deadly grace befitting Doseone's beloved hydra metaphor; for now, those necks are tangled.
Under The Radar
By Hays Davis
Sometimes it's good to get out and mingle. Nevermen brings together Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, Adam "Doseone" Drucker (Anticon label/collective founder), and Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, and more), with a genesis stretching back to early 2008. After Adebimpe and Drucker recorded a week's creative whirlwind they forwarded the results to Patton for his input and manipulation, eventually leading to studio time.
The three gel intriguingly as a vocal unit, and we get to hear them in seemingly every conceivable permutation. While the opening "Dark Ear" initially resembles a TV on the Radio blueprint, the picture suddenly blurs and flashes with heavier guitars and drums, along with a dark, spoken interlude. And when the catchy, chant-along section appears, it becomes clear that Nevermen might go anywhere.
"Wrong Animal Right Trap" also allows no stylistic moss to grow before flipping onto its back. Just when you might have it pegged as more of a straight-ahead rock tune, with pounding drums and stinging guitars, a synth buzz takes over before the sound dissolves into only a spare rhythm. And this description could be rewritten multiple times with different descriptions for the same song before its 3:24 plays out.
So many jerks of the steering wheel may not be for the faint of heart, but the trio coheres remarkably well, and the blizzard of ideas works like regular blasts of fresh oxygen or caffeine. Or both.
Renowned For Sound
By Marcus Floyd
Three voices, three egos, and three geniuses; Nevermen don’t describe themselves as a supergroup, but consisting of Mike Patton, rapper Doseone and Tunde Adebimpe, one would be forgiven for disagreeing. Their latest self-titled album has been a work in progress for the last seven years and what the outfit have offered us here is a fusion of pop, rap, rock, and soul; a package complete with plenty of surprises. Dark Ear opens the record on a few interesting notes and a flurry of vocals; an explosive and exciting way to introduce the trio’s new collection. It’s hard to categorise tracks like Right Animal Wrong Trap with its various influences, but it’s the array of sounds that makes the song an enticing listen. There’s the eerie yet cinematic Tough Towns; this number being more experimental with its dark and atmospheric approach. Mr Mistake is more of a laid-back number and eases the seriousness of the record; the melody is all over the place but it’s fun, and the overall arrangement is so airy that it lightens the mood of the record as a whole. Closing track Fame II The Wreckoning is mostly strings and vocals without the madness; a little unexpected to see the album out but it worked, a minimalist track was needed to break up the drama. Nevermen really came together as one when putting out their self-titled debut; their chemistry is undeniable from beginning to end and not one track could be considered a filler. You’ll notice across the album that the need for a lead singer is absent as the three voices are seemingly whole. This album should bring three fan bases together in harmony. If Nevermen was a one-off release for the trio, then so be it, but this could be the beginning of something so much more.
By Nicholas Senior
I know it’s hard to believe, but the latest project from Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) is a tad weird. That said, his latest project feels much less like one of the many projects Mike has put his name behind and something he felt artistically necessary. The roots for the project starting growing a long time ago, back in a far away age of 2008, when Patton, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, and Adam “Doseone” Drucker all met in a warehouse to pound out some tunes. The resulting album is more of an accomplishment as something to be appreciated than necessarily enjoyed.Smells Like Infinite Sadness
For a project that was mostly completed eight years ago, Nevermen’s experimental sound feels both avant-garde and familiar. Broadly, the group traffic in a sort of psychedelic rap/rock, but this self-titled release is much more challenging and progressive than anything the title implies. Aside from some decidedly hard beats (“At Your Service” for example), this isn’t a particularly heavy release; instead, these gentlemen prefer to pump as much sound into each second as possible. It’s a dense listen that requires multiple listens not just to appreciate but to partially digest. It’s like a big piece of Laffy Taffy: it’s initially too much, but if you keep chewing through it, you eventually appreciate it. Plus, there’s probably a joke somewhere on the wrapper.
One you’ve hit a certain number of spins, these songs begin to hit a surprising level of catchiness. Credit goes to every member of the band of frontmen for adequately splitting mic time, but it’s Tunde’s soulful voice steals the show here. Without his jarringly lovely melodies strewn about the top like sprinkles, the album might feel a bit much. It’s used just enough for good effect, as the music would not work with any more melody. It’s too psychedelic and alternative for that; however, thanks to a heap of passion, this side project feels like a surprising success, even when it feels a bit much. It’s the right kind of rewarding challenge.
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.
While Patton produced the album (due Jan 29th, via his Ipecac label), leaving his indelible madcap stamp, it remains an egalitarian affair. 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.
Mr Mistake’s trippy kid-show atmospherics and massive melodic hooks threads the needle back to 90’s alternative hip-hop (even referencing 3rd Bass’s The Gas Face).
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.
Nevermen’s self-titled album brings delicious, thick swirls of modern electronica. By Robert Hamm
The supergroup known as Nevermen boasts the elastic vocals and curious minds of TV On The Radio frontman Tunde Adebimpe, Faith No More leader Mike Patton and underground hip-hop artist Doseone. Combining their powers, the trio have concocted a brutalist symphony of high-octane sonics, low-hanging beats and squirrelly moments that border on pop ideals. The collaborative spirit is both a blessing and a curse for this project: Musically, their individual sensibilities mash together into delicious thick swirls of modern electronica, but their insistence on including everyone’s vocals in each song turns out to be more dizzying than necessary. A little more focus in that department would have gone a long way toward giving some ballast to this soupy, stormy effort.
By it now!