For Against Never Been

For Against Never Been
While For Against have never been a band to care about critical acclaim, they must have been buoyed by the response to last year's Shade Side Sunny Side, because the follow-up, Never Been, is such an assured album. It sees them moving forward rather than making their usual lateral shifts ― nine albums in and they still have the ability to surprise. The record has a much broader range than the band have shown in a while. Opener "Sameness" has a lightness that's reminiscent of very early R.E.M., with its jangly guitars, while the piano that takes lead on several tracks is unexpected, adding lushness. That doesn't mean they've turned their back on the Joy Division-like bleakness they do so well, it just means there's more diversity. The one constant, however, is that the band haven't aged at all during their 25-year career, still performing with the kind of focus and directness that other bands strive for. Never Been would be an impressive album from any band, even more so considering just how long For Against have been making music. (Words On Music)