The sense of defiant melancholy is all over tracks like All This Time, or the incredibly catchy opener, The Wrong Way. It’s very Marc Almond.
This has been out a bit, but it deserves your attention. I picked it up by chance when going through my review pile, I noticed the moody cover and somehow I just liked her pout, and thought that this looked tough, moody, direct; a bit Scott 1. And for once my hunch paid off. Terror Bird is the moniker of Nikki Never, who seems to want to share what’s on her mind on a regular basis, given she’s knocked out 6 LPs and a host of singles since 2005.
I like these frustrated bedsit records; I like the tension that builds up when someone who has something to say says it in a small space. Nikki Never may have conjured up this LP up in a room, but I suspect that in her head, this is music that is played out to millions of doe eyed followers; it’s the soundtrack to Metropolis or Battleship Potemkin, even if these songs are currently getting lip-synched to a mirror. Maybe she sees her role as that of the scorned artist; contemptuously turned from the café’s doors, and spitting out a last threat before traipsing through rain sodden streets. The sense of defiant melancholy is all over tracks like All This Time, or the incredibly catchy opener, The Wrong Way. It’s very Marc Almond. So, as we undiscovered geniuses know, these things can swing both ways in life. Ambition in motion, to quote an old Simple Minds song.
There’s always a performance on All This Time too; take On Your Vacation, where Never thumps the keys with palpable (mock?) frustration. And the closing Don’t Believe You is a lovers tiff played out in the street; almost shamelessly and with no sense of reserve of coyness or irony. You can imagine her throwing stones at Arthur Seaton’s bedroom window…. This is attitude writ large, feelings are spelt out in capitals and you the listener can’t help but trip over some of them. Still, the way Nikki Never does it is very believable. It’s to her immense credit that nothing is fey or coy. Tracks like Elliot and Do You Remember? are straight-down-the-line one on ones, chronicling break ups and you feel that there’s very little space between you the listener and the performer. You’re dragged in as the unwitting, maybe unwilling witness to the “Sturm und Drang”.
So, if you’re looking for something “human” with no clever shit, no vagaries, no limpness, give this a spin.