Release Date: Jan 29, 2016
Record label: Ipecac Recordings
Some eight years since they first teased the possibility, maverick Anticon co-founder Doseone (‘mind’), TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe (‘heart’) and ever-prolific Ipecac co-honcho Mike Patton (‘body’) emerge from the kitchen with Nevermen’s first serving. “Don’t rush the fuckin’ music," they warned. Now to reward your patience; presented as a rule-discarding labour of love for the trio, the results are a timeless, genre-smashing work with a psychedelic soul.
Nevermen is an interesting and fun collaboration between TV on the Radio’s lead singer Tunde Adebimpe, Adam Drucker, aka Doseone, and all-world vocalist Mike Patton. The trio share all musical duties on Nevermen, most obviously the vocals. Nevermen trade lines, sing in harmony, and exchange rap verses on the album. There’s no concept of “this being a Tunde song” or “Adam has a great solo here.” It’s collaborative all the time.
A broadcast from the Drowned in Sound Meteorological Society (DiSMS): For the casual observer, yesterday’s meteorological phenomenon, which we’ve dubbed the Nevermen, blasted out of nowhere. We’d called for light precipitation, with chance of freezing, in most parts of the country. Instead, several cities reported heavy downpours of acid-free paint, followed by chartreuse thunderstorms and static drizzle, with an overcast sky of swirling tie-dye clouds.
Sometimes it's good to get out and mingle. Nevermen brings together Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio, Adam "Doseone" Drucker (Anticon label/collective founder), and Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, and more), with a genesis stretching back to early 2008. After Adebimpe and Drucker recorded a week's creative whirlwind they forwarded the results to Patton for his input and manipulation, eventually leading to studio time.
In an October 2008 interview with The A.V. Club, TV on the Radio frontman Tunde Adebimpe briefly discussed his forthcoming collaboration with experimental rapper Adam Drucker, aka Doseone, and alt rock king Mike Patton. Adebimpe described the project as a vocal experiment and said it would “congeal toward the end of the year.” Turns out the collaboration needed more time to settle, and more occasions for its creators to get in the same room.
Ever since introducing himself to the world with Faith No More's The Real Thing in 1989, Mike Patton has been defined by near-superhuman levels of vocal dexterity and a creative restlessness that borders on ADHD, trying everything from avant-garde composition to Italian opera to the surf rock-death metal hybrids of Mr. Bungle. He might have finally met his vocal match in TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, a singer who's been shaping art-rock and soul music into fascinating new forms for more than a decade.
By the time the self-titled debut album by Nevermen (the supergroup trio of Anticon-affiliated MC Doseone, TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, and Faith No More's Mike Patton) finally appeared in early 2016, the project had been in development for the better part of a decade. Doseone guested on Patton's Peeping Tom project in 2006, and Adebimpe appeared on an album by Doseone's group Subtle in 2007, and the three had long been fans of each other's work. Doseone had mentioned that a collaboration was in the works as early as 2008, and the project was named and signed to Subtle's label Lex Records in 2009.
Billed as a leaderless trio, Nevermen is the collaborative effort from Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio, Adam “Doseone” Drucker of cLOUDEAD and Mike Patton of Faith No More, Mr Bungle etc. The theory here is that in bringing together three frontmen, the notion of a focal point will disappear altogether – as announced in the lyrics of Non Babylon, the frontman supposedly “digests itself”. In reality, what you have is an outfit with three frontmen.
Back in 2009, Idaho poet-rapper Adam Drucker (aka Doseone, also of Themselves and Subtle) announced the birth of a hydra known as Nevermen, a collaboration between himself, Faith No More's Mike Patton, and TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe. The trio of frontmen were to be joined by visual artists the Chapman Brothers, two members of the Young British Artists movement, whose job was to translate the music to a visual medium. Seven years of silence later, the Chapmans are out, along with the project's multimedia ambitions.
The Nevermen has been the project of three juggernaut musicians since 2008, taking over equal production and vocal duties with Turner Prize winner Keith Tyson, who designed the NEWW album’s artwork and sleeve. The supergroup’s a leaderless trio consisting of three steamroller acts in the world of music: Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio), Mike Patton (Faith No More/Tomahawk/Mr. Bungle), and Adam “Doseone” Drucker (anticon/cLOUDDEAD).
When Adam Drucker, Mike Patton and Tunde Adebimpe have collaborated in the past the tracks have always been exciting, throwing little sidelights on the future. From the Subtle remix albums there's 'The Longvein Of The Voice' or the Adebimpe's yearning vocals on 'Deathful', while on Patton's Peeping Tom there's Drucker's party-menace on 'How U Feelin?'. Each one-off was enough to make you wonder what on earth the long-rumoured Nevermen album would sound like.
The supergroup known as Nevermen boasts the elastic vocals and curious minds of TV On The Radio frontman Tunde Adebimpe, Faith No More leader Mike Patton and underground hip-hop artist Doseone. Combining their powers, the trio have concocted a brutalist symphony of high-octane sonics, low-hanging beats and squirrelly moments that border on pop ideals. The collaborative spirit is both a blessing and a curse for this project: Musically, their individual sensibilities mash together into delicious thick swirls of modern electronica, but their insistence on including everyone’s vocals in each song turns out to be more dizzying than necessary.
Tunde Adebimpe, Doseone and Mike Patton get together to make a record, and one of the ideas that stays on the “keepers” list is a sneering, industrial version of Who Stole The Cookie From The Cookie Jar? (during the bridge of At Your Service). What else do I need to say to convince you that all three musicians have done better work elsewhere? On Nevermen, Patton ransacks the corners of his cabinet of shock rock curiosities while Adebimpe tries to tether things with his unmistakable baritone and Doseone’s cranks the mids. It all adds up to a whole that’s somehow less than the sum of its parts.