California-based Neverever impressed with their 2010 debut, and Shake-A-Baby, a very brief five-song EP, is an interesting departure. While Angelic Swells was full of perky little 60s-inspired pop songs, the five songs here are pretty similar in rhythm and melody. But there’s something different; they feel slower and sadder—perhaps because the content of the songs seems to be nothing but heartbreak. Sure, it’s hard to not dance to “Bunker Spreckles,” and “Mexicoco” is fast-paced, but the song’s a heartbreaker. “Venus” is a slow heartbreaker—at nearly five minutes, it feels positively epic. “Wedding Day” is pure girl-group perfection, but, again, it’s a sad song about love gone awry. But I like “Baby Oil and Iodine” for the simple reason that it’s an answer song to the early 60s love songs about summer love; “I want you now and forever/Come what may/through September/” feels like the girl’s perspective to songs like Brian Hyland‘s “Sealed With a Kiss” or the Beach Boys “Girl Don’t Tell Me.” That Neverever do so without trying to parody already existing melodies makes it even better. Like your teenage summer romances, Shake-a-Baby is brief, it’s heartbreaking, but the experience will enrich you for years to come.
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