No Devotion – ‘Permanence’ – 25/09/15
If there was ever a group of musicians who had a lot to get off their chest, it was definitely going to be the Lostprophets & Thursday super group No Devotion, who have been through a lot in recent years to say the least. The band have put all of their emotion, betrayal, heartbreak, and frustration in to a set of dynamic experimental songs to build an album to mark a new beginning. Having sat on a lot of the new material for almost a year, No Devotion are finally set to release their debut album ‘Permanence’ this month, and we’ve been waiting eagerly to discover what these guys have created.
The debut album opens with ‘Break’, a track you would definitely not expect to hear based on the previously released tracks by No Devotion. It’s a pretty steady opening track with an electric trip-hop base, almost dance music but without the dancing. It’s the perfect way to open the album, and we’d imagine it would also be a pretty good live show opener too.
We’re thrown straight into the upbeat and lively ‘Permanent Sunlight’, which provides one of the only happier optimistic sounding moments on a darkly written album taking us through heartbreak, betrayal and anger. This track stands alone providing some diversity to the albums overall sound, and it sounds fantastic. We already know from the live shows that this is one of the highlights of their performance, and it’s exactly the same on the album.
‘Eyeshadow’ was one of the first releases from the band roughly a year ago, so it’s one we feel much more familiar with. With comparisons to Joy Division and an early U2, it’s a refreshing change from all the dominant music in our current era, and takes us back to the 80’s with it’s eerie guitar work and solid built chorus.
‘Why Can’t I Be With You?’ Drops us into a trance to slows the pace and break the album down, before ‘I Wanna Be Your God’ opens with some grungy guitar and bass, leading us into a song that sounds like The Stone Roses joining the dark side. The track grows more powerful as it progresses, closing with front man Geoff Rickly screaming out the final chorus.
‘Death Rattle’ feels more of an interlude than a song, and was written before Geoff Rickly joined the band. Within a powerful instrumental three minutes we’re taken into the sound of the band moving on from the Lostprophets days with a tone of anger and betrayal. The music really speaks for itself, with the exclusion of lyrics from Geoff being a great decision, as he claims he felt he was not meant to be on this track, as he hadn’t lived through the “Nightmare” with the rest of the band.
The clouds part as another familiar song ‘10,000 Summers’ follows, written in a more optimistic manor leaving the past behind as the band create a new chapter. A slow-moving verse with little drive, but a beautiful mix of sound from the guitars and keys suddenly explodes into its captivating chorus, which is catchy enough to have you singing along immediately.
‘Night Drive’ provides some heavy synth to bring the album back to life, and feels very experimental as the band create a more modern sound. It’s certainly a song for the late night driving trips as the song title suggests. The trickling outro fades straight into ‘Stay’, which was one of our favourite tracks the band had previously released. Its progressive verse guides us in to a big anathematic chorus, which needs to be played loud. Another perfectly lively and catchy song for the live shows coming next month, which will have the crowds bouncing all across Europe and the UK.
A charged riff from Lee Gaze kicks off ‘Addition’ which is more what we would have expected from the band based on the sound of their previous bands. It’s catchy and as powerful as hell, and it’s without doubt our highlight of the album. A pounding breakdown on the drums leads into a final thunderous chorus of the fastest moving song on the album.
A seven minute journey through the entrancing ‘Grand Central’ closes as a summery of the album, with a little bit of everything from its slow futuristic sci-fi intro, to its authoritative drums holding a powerful fusion of guitars, vocals and everything else mixed in-between.
This is an album created by a band finding themselves, and pulling through a dark, clouded part of their lives. Not many albums have been written with as much emotion as ‘Permanence’ has. It’s a powerful and experimental full-length album that feels refreshing from everything in the current music scene. This is only the start of something new, and we can’t wait to see what else No Devotion can bring to the table.