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Neverwoz - EP Review: The Elysian EP

18 Nov 2021 // A review by Adrian Drew

Neverwoz - The Elysian EP, is the follow up to the 2018 Minor Words and Major Thirds album. The album was recorded towards the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 on the Kapiti Coast by Karl and Charlie Wootton (Merrin). Neverwoz is the brainchild of Peter Baillie, with a collaborative band of talented people who have helped turn these ideas into songs.

The first few bars of the opening track has a Santana/Jethro Tull vibe before becoming more upbeat than a 3 day folk festival. I can see why they have played plenty of festivals, this is exactly what I'd expect to see/hear at the local council day in the park. I'm there on my rug, cool beverage, fancy cheese, tapping away and enjoying the vibe.

Peter mentions his American Blues influence and second track Katie Heard Me Talking definitely has that swampy blues feel. But not far away is that reedy lead line, more akin to Randy Newman than Jethro Tull. I can't help but think this might've been better left off the record, or replaced with guitar. Just my thoughts.

There's no denying the musicianship all over this record, it sounds like an all-star band bringing these songs to life. The bass works is incredible, highlighted on songs such as Flirt and You'll Never Walk This Town Again... some serious phat funky groove! Also the drumming throughout is on point every time, never too busy, but heavy enough in just the right places.

The stand out track I Nearly Had You is a gorgeous introspective delight. From the opening clean guitar (has a bit of Th' Dudes feel to it) and haunting, catchy bass hook, I was all ears open. The song builds nicely to bring in all the players, as Peter's vocal desperation starts to climb. I especially loved the Doorsy keyboard break and the final screaming realisation that "I've got nothing at all". Top song this!

The Elysian EP concludes with a musical psych trance-out of Donald Trump vox samples (did I also hear Kate Bush??) on the final track Wannabe American. This is Neverwoz's freeform freak-out protest song, an instrumental and aural carnival of noise. I may need a cuddle buddy tonight (retreats to the corner, knees tight, slowly rocking... back and forth... back and forth... back and forth).

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Neverwoz

Neverwoz combines funk, soul, rock, blues, folk, country, hip-hop, psychedelia and pop to make a truly original sound. Their debut album Minor Words and Major Thirds is due for release soon.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Neverwoz


The Elysian
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Minor Words and Major Thirds
Year: 2018
Type: Album

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