The thing this band--or rather, this album--lacks is the belief that it can make a rock 'n' roll masterpiece that is not than a showcase of its own sundry styles and influences. That is, there is no cohesive thread here. Interludes separate a good deal of the Queen-to-Beach Boys shuffling, slowing the action and preventing this disc from going far enough fast enough. The opening "True or False" is reminiscent of the better Weezer pop that didn't make The Green Album, though its successor, "Bigger Than Jared," brings the potty-mouthed weight of Ben Folds to bear on a classic rock anthem, bombastic guitar solo in tow. The adroit eclecticism is as flattering as it is impressive, but it ultimately lends itself to the notion that this band had rather show its audience its nifty tool kit of paint brushes and watercolors than paint the perfect picture it is capable of rendering. Still, it's a pretty impressive kit, and The Never is a standout entree.
The Never plays with io, Sleepsound and Alvarez Painting on Saturday, July 3.