Neverfriend definitely want, above all else, to be an honest band. Having said that, they’re probably going to write a song about how much they hate me, because I’m going to compare them to Nickelback. Aside from the fact that the opening riff of “Coming for Me” is almost identical to the opening riff of “Flat on the Floor” from Kroeger and Co.’s fourth album The Long Road, Neverfriend also share the former’s all literal no metaphors allowed approach to writing lyrics and their simplistic approach to writing riffs.
They also share Nickelback’s tendency to release albums that are anything but consistent. There are some truly killer tracks here, and there are some truly terrible ones, and they often come one after the other. “Don’t Worry” and “Don’t Wanna Love You” are both throwaway 90s punk rip-offs that you won’t ever remember as soon as their over. “Pissed Off and Running”, despite its similarity to Nickelback, is a killer rocker that does exactly what it promises; starts running and doesn’t stop until everyone in the mosh pit is bleeding and happy.
Ironically, the band is at its best when they completely strip down and bare all. The first truly shining moment comes on the power ballad “Hurts to Breathe”, and the closer “Dear Daddy” is a harrowing, guitar and vocal driven tear jerker. The common denominators are the slower, more deliberate approach to writing the songs as well as the excellent vocal harmonies. Lead singer Gina has a powerful voice, but there’s a sense that she hasn’t quite grown into her own style yet. More harmonies definitely would have strengthened the melodies here.
Aside from that, the main problem is the comparison to so many other bands. Aside from Nickelback, there are almost direct ripoffs of Marilyn Manson, The Offspring, Green Day, Sum 41 and multiple other huge 90s alt rock acts. Neverfriend aren’t bad at what they do, but next time around, just a little more attention to detail could go a long way.
Neverfriend, Evolve is available for stream here.
Written by Syd Ghan