Thursday, 16 October 2014

Never A Hero - Bleed Between The Lines


I'll be honest, I'm approaching this record with a certain sense of trepidation. Never A Hero are an "alternative rock" band from Sudbury, who formed in 2009. Nowt wrong with that. They released their debut album Bleed Between The Lines in 2013. Again, all moving in the right direction. The reason for the trepidation is the names they've given themselves on Social Media. Before you say it, band members give themselves stage names all the time, it's nothing new but it's just that it reminds me of my late teens when I started listening to metal and thought stage names were cool.

Moving on from that though, I'm not gonna give them too much of a hard time because they're trying to make their way in the industry and are doing what they can to propel themselves above everyone else. This blog wouldn't be here were it not for bands like Never A Hero.

Tracklist:-

1. Read Between The Lines
2. Burning Skies
3. Roses Are Dead, Violets Are Too
4. The Call
5. Screams Of Silence
6. Days Of Patients
7. Vogue
8. >|<
9. Untouchable
10. Dreamcatcher
11. Hollow And The Crow
12. Sunbeam
13. Stalked
14. Bleed Between The Lines

Alternative can mean many things in music nowadays. In Never A Hero’s case it mean samples and electronics. Title track Read Between The Lines will provoke obvious mutterings of “they remind me of Enter Shikari”, but hold you breath and at least take in the rest of this album! The instant leap to Burning Skies from the opener is a nice touch. No unnecessary pauses to block momentum. It’s here that Never A Hero show their hand for real. Mixing post-hardcore style vox with electronics. You may think you’ve heard it all before, but at least their vocals are delivered in their native accent and things feel genuine. 

The opening riffs of Roses Are Dead, Violets Are Too are surprisingly thrash-laden and throughout the song, smatterings of Bullet For My Valentine (whatever happened to them?) can be heard. That’s not a disservice to Never A Hero though, who actually good musical structure and ideas within themselves here. The grand orchestral opening of The Call may be seen through my some, but it creates a whole new atmosphere. Too be honest, there’s a lot going on in the song. All kinds of elements make their play, from djent-style melodic vocals too hair-metal solos. There are smatterings of a fairly well known Armenian-American band within Screams Of Silence but there’s also a whole lot of quality musicianship that will make you smile. I love the eighties-electro coursing through Days Of Patients. It’s a pseudo ballad that’s got hooks and great melody.

Seventh number Vogue comes at you surprisingly quickly, such is the punchy delivery thus far. There more thrash and added twin-guitar harmonies for good measure. Actually, the lead work here is amongst the best on the record. It’s followed by >|<. a dramatic instrumental interlude, which flows into the latter half of the album and Untouchable. It’s piano introduction makes you think they’re going for another ballad. They’re not, but this is the longest song on Bleed Between The Lines. They throw some technical instrumentation into the mix, which really works in between the melodic verse/chorus make-up. The addition of the clean female vocals further heighten Never A Hero’s pop-sensibilities. Dreamcatcher follows in much the same vein, but with added breakdowns!

They hit the dub-step line hard during the intro to Hollow And The Crow. It’s an angular rock song without being pretentious and while it may sound like you’ve heard it somewhere before, but like the rest of Bleed Between The Lines, that’s not the point. It’s a well crafted album with cross-over appeal aimed at rock/mainstream metal fans. Sunbeam goes someway to reminding you that this troupe are British (in case you somehow forgot) and the UK grime-inspired spoken word/rap helps too! Stalked is another track that could well be this albums standout. It’s less cluttered and complicated, relying more on a simpler structure and approach. It took them till the penultimate song to do it, but it works. The title-track closes out proceedings and leaves you time to digest what just happened!


In summary, what first seemed like a poorly-conceived idea to re-awaken the ghosts of the old alt-rock/nu-metal late 90s thing, actually turned out very differently. Granted, Never A Hero’s debut album was all about them finding their sound and  providing a block for them leap from. It’s done that and that block has provided a stepping-stone for rock fans who are bored of the self-pitying grunge that’s around now. It’s fun and that’s what you really want, right?

You can stream various songs from Bleed Between The Line via Never A Hero's website here - 
http://www.neverahero.net

Never A Hero Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/neverahero

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