I first spoke with Jeff Jones via the Dirtbag Clothing facebook page. He mentioned Never Buried was currently writing some killer new music in the studio. That’s what all of us musicians think while we are diligently chipping away at our art and craft under the microscope. Its all killer to us, but what will the fans think?
It was unusually warm in San Diego the morning Jeff sent me a new track titled Novocaine. I put my extremely hard and uncomfortable apple earbuds in and opened the sound-cloud link at 7am as I waited for the metropolitan trolley to take me to jury duty.
I pushed play on my phone and was immediately and delightfully greeted by a tightly knit, heavy and riffing guitar, something similar to Killswitch Engage. I’m ok with this because KSE is a favorite band of mine, one of many. The entire instrumental arsenal of Never Buried sonically punches the listener in the face at 0:11seconds with a mean and definitive groove transitioned by synchronized and punchy footwork including cymbal chokes.
The crunchy, gritty, and aired out vocals of singer Chris Frost enter at 0:34 seconds; a modern metal track standard. Heavy and to the point, Chris Frost drives the point home during the verses and gives the listener a melodic hook during the choruses all while keeping it heavy and hooky.
There I am standing a few feet from the trolley tracks staring at the sun getting higher in the sky and warmer on my face, bobbing my head and tapping my foot to the full, layered and rhythmic guitar tones Novocaine has to offer. The trolley pulls in front of me and the door opens. I step onboard and sit down in the seat, just as Novocaine enters the bridge of the song. Good timing too. I had to tame myself a bit at this point because I wanted to air drum, and scream, and play air guitar right in the other passengers’ faces; but I held back.
I enjoyed the bridge, clearly designed to take me away for a bit using clean and full guitars with a little grit for texture to get the job done. The drums slow the groove and the clean frosty vocals come back melodically singing and building into a monster scream. This transitioned my attention into a smooth and smoking guitar solo lasting until the music breaks and the carved out throaty bass guitar introduces me to the final portion of the song. I don’t know if the band did this on purpose but I feel like every band member got a bit of the spotlight during the bridge. Good sharing kids.
The band digs in during the heavier ending of Novocaine. The energy feels like they are giving it everything they have together, united in aggressive groove, looking at the light at the end of the Novocaine tunnel. This is where the percussion section of Never Buried gets a special shout out. Specifically for a great performance song wide and the energy that is delivered on the way out the door with intricate double bass work and snare shots for days.
This is a great song. The groove of this song is nothing new, but makes me want to hit repeat. I am curious to see if these guys can reproduce the same sound live, but most importantly, the same energy? I expect to hear some good things in 2016 from Never Buried. If you are ever in the South Texas area… please check these guys out http://www.facebook.com/NeverBuried. I would easily pay $20 to hear this band in its full glory with a beer in my hand or from the pit, whichever you fancy. It’s official. My brain has been numbed by a special type of Novocaine; the Never Buried kind.
Dirtbag Smitty (4 out of 5 horns)