No matter what your relationship status is this Valentine’s Day, Nashville-based psychedelic shoegaze alternative band The Neverlutionaries has just released their new self-titled debut LP, with no shortage of songs to get you through our nation’s day of love! Available for streaming now through Polychromatic Records, this unfiltered expression of the heart seamlessly bounces around between a select few moods and genres. The project gained its influence from all the time lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Christopher Harold Wells has spent working with everyone, from The All Time Low Stars with Peter Keys (of Lynyrd Skynyrd) to Lauryn Hill to Bubba Sparxxx, as well as opening for the likes of Metallica and Def Leppard. Wells undoubtedly received the most influence from (as well as reserving his highest praise for) artists like Prince and Jimmy Page, who were able to intertwine so many different genres while still maintaining the essence of their true expression.
Ever impossible to pigeonhole into one genre, The Neverlutionaries definitely is not one to chase trends.
Being the brainchild of Wells (formerly of Peasants of the Apocalypse and The Veldt), this namesake album features 11 songs (plus one bonus track!), exploring the realms of hook-heavy alternative rock, psychedelia, jazz and funk. All of these elements are glued together by Christopher’s distinctively soulful timbre. “The only parameter that I set for myself is that, at some point in the process, I got to get some kind of goosebumps,” Wells explains. “That’s like the cosmos’ way of letting you know you’re onto something.” I think the cosmos was right — The Neverlutionaries are definitely onto something.
Led by Billboard-charting producer Jaimeson Durr (Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, etc.), The Neverlutionaries LP was recorded in the famous Studio C at Hyde Street Studios, where classic albums by the Grateful Dead, Santana, and Creedence Clearwater Revival were laid down. In such an inspiring environment, the band envisioned breathing life into something that was free of creative margins. In a world where so many bands and artists are only creating in order to appease commercial and corporate expectations, The Neverlutionaries head up what feels like a return to simply doing what sounds and feels right.
One of the first singles recorded and released off the album was a song called “Ariana”: a song written to describe the moment when you finally meet your soulmate and how it would feel.
How that moment could make your soul dance a dance you never knew it could. Wells explains, “Being a huge shoegaze lover for years, it eventually and inevitably crept into my sound. It’s about meeting your soulmate. How would it feel? I tried to achieve that feeling through delayed trippy guitars weaving through each other for an intense dreamy effect, as love is intense and dreamy.” The band was able to encapsulate that feeling perfectly with “Ariana”; it instantly recalls your mind to that perfect moment. The first time she made your knees weak. The first time you knew it was real. The song is a love-filled lightning bolt the band beautifully caught in a bottle. While recording the next hit track, “Stumble”, production was abruptly and immediately stopped by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the loss of one of Wells’ dear friends. “Stumble” then transformed into a song that was able to set the mood for the beginning of these incredibly uncertain times we are still currently living through.
“Stumble” is about still loving and trusting someone who has done you wrong. As Wells tells it, “This is actually the first song I ever wrote on piano. The day we tracked it, I was a bit melancholy as I just lost a dear friend the day before. They have this beautiful piano at Hyde Street Studio C and it plays so well that it practically plays itself. We turned the studio lights down for some ambiance and I tried to channel my pain into that take… Music is very sacred to me and I feel you have to honor it by letting it come from a real place inside of you.” The uncertainty that “Stumble” exposes is only a brief glimpse into the themes of heartache, grief, nostalgia and the process of going through change in dark places that this self-titled LP displays. With delayed guitars and dreamy atmospheric textures meets 90s grunge distorted tones, The Neverlutionaries stylistically bring so much to the table. It’s going to be damn near impossible to ignore this band moving forward!
Purchase or stream ‘The Neverlutionaries’ album:
- Ticking Away
- Hopped Up On Crazy
- As It Burns…
- Everybody’s Losing Their Minds, feat. Kenny Olson
- Precious Eyes
- Save Yourself
- Ill Equation
- Ellis Street Stomp (Bonus Track)
The Neverlutionaries – “Stumble”
Cover photo by Michael Phillips
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.