Honestly, The Never are more than just the brilliance of their gimmick. Their newest album Antarctica, which is one-half indie album and one-half illustrated children’s story, follows the journey of a country boy on his way to return a nuclear bomb to the city. Antarctica is composed with the concept that the listener can simultaneously be entertained by the songs, while reading along, thus enjoying music, art and written word all at once.
The storybook is illustrated by guitarist and vocalist Noah Smith and features illustrations that seemingly don’t relate to the album until the album is played in unison with the story. The combination created by playing the album over the storybook is sort of like a modern version of Prokofiev‘s Peter and the Wolf. This similarity is aided by mostly instrumental tracks like “On a Mountain” or “Searching and Chasing,” the latter being one of my favorites on the album for its frantic violin playing. Also, much like Prokofiev uses certain instruments to represent different characters or special percussive sounds to represent the action, so does the Never.
As the story develops and the young boy finds himself in peril, the music picks up pace and the songs get edgier like the radio friendly tracks “Cavity” and “Antarctica.”
The wide variety of styles displayed on this album and the depth of the album construction are a testimony to the cleverness of this band. They are definitely a band to watch out for and a live show you would not want to miss.
For our readers in Kansas City, be sure to catch the Never show our friends over at Popfreeradio.com are sponsoring. Check out the flier below for details:
01. Summer Time
02. On a Mountain
03. Leaves Start to Fall
04. Summer Girl / Old Man Winter
05. March of the Minions
06. Farm Land
07. Searching and Chasing
09. The Winter’s Coming
11. The Sharpest Place
12. The Witch
13. Bomber Pilot
14. Snow Starts to Fall
15. Winter Time