Music career veteranhood – for this is surely where Nada Surf find themselves now after more than 20 years – is obviously both a curse and a blessing, more so dependent on the way you approach the next record.
Accordingly, Never Not Together is the New Yorker’s ninth release, of itself a collection which demonstrates a stickability but one that follows one set of rules; always go with what you know.
In practice NS have in general presented themselves musically around a bittersweet formula that uses singer Matthew Claws’ slightly vulnerable sounding tones underpinned by a more muscular but traditional chassis of guitar-bass-drums, a scissoring platform which with opener So Much Love shows why they’ve built up a dedicated following across both sides of the Atlantic.
That they could turn out a great pop song was never in doubt, but the nagging uncertainty was always about modernity. Here they jump forward in words mostly, Just Wait cursing the pressure society puts on youth whilst Mathilda takes on gender reinforcement. Both are subjects well worth tackling, but like the rest of Never Not Together, the orthodoxy of their delivery leaves the band no further forward, industry medals or not.
Read the rull review here.