Never Betters are a new (to me) quartet from London (the Ontario one), who self-describe as “pop punk”. In the interest of full disclosure I must admit, as a crusty old hardcore kid, that the proximity of “pop” and “punk” in the same sentence often makes me run for the hills, but it was worth overcoming my phobia to check out the band’s new track, “Pictures”.
Taken from the band’s half of Guns + Roses’ Roses, the mouthful of a split EP with local cohorts Grievances (both bands share members), “Pictures” is a storming, 90s/early 2000s-inflected indie rock swagger fest. Never Betters come on like a rougher-hewn version of fellow Canucks, Alvvays, a less angsty Maktaverskhan, a less stoned Dinosaur Jr. (check the closing guitar freakout), a less English Ned’s Atomic Dustbin (?!), April Romano’s sung-wailed vocals trailing back through the open windows of a car passing by at speed. It’s the kind of jam we could envision playing in The Bronze, while Never Betters’ bio proffers the song as the “theme song for some high school drama tv show” and the band as prom headliners – we can dig it.
Guns + Roses’ Roses releases March 16 through fellow apostrophe enthusiasts Grooves Records’ Records, and is available to pre-order here. You can also shadow all Never Betters’ online movements on fbook and the twitt, while checking out the video for “Pictures”, here.