19 Jan 2022

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Underscore - Single Review: Never Coming Back

02 Aug 2021 // A review by Adrian Drew

Never Coming Back is the second single release from Auckland alternative rock band, Underscore. The relatively new band in town consists of; Jonathan Meyer - guitars/vocals, Hon Manawangphiphat - bass and Josh Johnston - drums. The trio started playing music together as students at Auckland University.

Described by the band as bitter breakup song, Never Coming Back growls into life with a classic blues riff, not too dissimilar to something out of The Black Keys’ locker. It’s got a heap of swing, guitars sound great, drums are nice and heavy with loads of symbol and I can already tell that this is a step up in production from their debut release Dirty Word.

The verses work well with a lot of space, single chords and drop outs. Jonathan has brought the right attitude to the vocals, it’s more determination and conviction rather than anger. Then just when I thought the song would stay in its comfy blues barn, it changes. Probably my favourite part of the track is this rolling, rumbling toms pre chorus build. For the protagonist, there’s this bitter internal realisation and the vocal melody here is excellent. It reminds me a lot of Midnight Youth and that is a very good thing!

The classic, slow time blues bridge is perfect. It’s so nice when a guitar solo suits the song and it’s not just a shredfest for the sake of it. Here it’s more soul and sorrow, a nod to the great blues players like BB King, but with a screwdriver jammed through into the Marshall. Nice fuzz and tone! Then the band cranks it up a gear out of the bridge into a double time section with a play on the main riff, before a coming to a grinding halt to finish where it all began, a great swinging blues breakup song. Nice work, I look forward to hearing the next instalment from Underscore!

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Underscore

Underscore is the latest alternative rock band to electrify Auckland's music scene. The trio creates a unique and explosive blend of rock and pop music, with funky rhythms and roaring guitars to produce their distinctive sound.

Following the release of their catchy debut single Dirty Word in March 2021, Underscore is back with a new and emotional hit. Never Coming Back is a bitter break-up song that draws on progressive rock influences, with constant-evolving momentum and powerful guitars.

Underscore features Hon Manawangphiphat on bass guitar, Josh Johnston on drums, and Jonathan Meyer on guitar and vocals. The trio started playing music together as students at the University of Auckland, and have performed shows throughout Auckland ever since. While Jonathan is the principal songwriter and guitarist, the whole band brings together their backgrounds in pop, rock, metal, and jazz to create the one-of-a-kind sound Underscore is known for.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Underscore


Year: 2019
Type: EP

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