A broadcast from the Drowned in Sound Meteorological Society (DiSMS):
For the casual observer, yesterday’s meteorological phenomenon, which we’ve dubbed the Nevermen, blasted out of nowhere. We’d called for light precipitation, with chance of freezing, in most parts of the country. Instead, several cities reported heavy downpours of acid-free paint, followed by chartreuse thunderstorms and static drizzle, with an overcast sky of swirling tie-dye clouds. Eyewitnesses described the storm as 'crazy', 'awesome', and 'no seriously dude, it’s so awesome'.
After a thorough investigation, our weather team has traced the sources of this Nevermen. Their research cites nearly two decades of activity between three storm fronts in the United States, each from diverging weather systems: the Doseone from cLOUDDEAD, the Tunde Adebimpe from TV On The Radio, and the Mike Patton, a driving force for both the Mr Bungle and Faith No More systems.
I’m now receiving this statement about the storm from our chief meteorologist, Lee Adcock:
'To begin to appreciate this thing, you’ve got to live with some confusion. None of these guys ever cared to fit cozy in their own bubbles, and they’ll certainly not sit still for Nevermen. This whole thing effervesces with dramatic noise, from big blaring riffs to broken Game Boy bleeps to beatboxing; you’ll do your head in trying to absorb it all, especially on the full-steam rocker “Right Animal Wrong Trap” or the chirpy, philosophical sing-along “Mr. Mistake”. Our protagonists act as you’d expect them to – Doseone lays down ridiculous nerdy verses, Adebimpe brings the gravitas and cool sound effects, and Patton belts his heart out – but their antics, familiar as they are, add to the malarkey.
'The lyrics don’t lend much clarity, either. The trio trade lines like they’re flashing secret handshakes to each other – it’s a complex process, fingers flying and interlocking, each gesture laden with meanings that an outsider can’t even fathom. "This simply won’t work like barbed wire or pollen" goes the refrain of "Right Animal Wrong Trap". Best not to dwell on this. Just revel in its mystery, its rhythm. As long as you’re OK being baffled, you’ll dig this just fine.
'Serious aficionados of hip hop, or nu-metal, or any of the flavors that crop up in Nevermen, might scoff at the whimsy of it all, like when "Tough Towns" (a song about psychogeography – I think) transitions from "Go Houston" to "Go Pittsburg". But then, Patton’s never been serious about anything, and that’s integral to the whole project. ’The frontman digests himself,’ they say collectively on ‘Non Babylon’, a track that plays out like an aural cut-up. When they all join in on the refrain ’hey, Mr. Frontman,’, they each reject themselves as the commanding ego.
'And thus, without that domineering dignity to protect, the Nevermen are free to do what they want. They can invite scorn via the glorious "Hate On", or indeed threaten your life in easily the most grin-inducing, Faith No More-ish number, "Shellshot". There are no consequences for the de-centralized.
'So, y’know. It’s not an album you can live and breathe in, and all three men have reached greater heights on their past endeavours. That is to say, Adebimpe has plumbed deeper emotional depths with TVOTR, Doseone has seen wider horizons with cLOUDDEAD, and Patton has played much kookier roles just about everywhere else. But the cheeky enigma that spurns the Nevermen on is still far more engaging than the deadly earnest attitude of the regular ego-driven band unit. Bring on more madness, I say.'
Erm. Listeners, we apologize: our regular chief meteorologist has not returned from her investigation, and has since been replaced by a music journalist of the same name. We’ll be back later for updates on the Nevermen storm; until then, if anyone sees a paint-splattered storm chaser van, please call us immediately.
7Lee Adcock's Score