Never Ending Avenue is a Pop Punk band out of Grand Rapids Michigan. The band is made up of Trevor Thelen (Vocals), Matthew Brinningstaull (Guitars), Jon Wilson (Drums) and Doug Fox (Bass). Never Ending Avenue has recently dropped its 6 track EP entitled “Two Words”, with which the band desperately hope to revive a genre dormantly lying on its deathbed. I never heard of this band before I listened this recording, but I can say that it’s an absolutely beautiful and pleasantly groundbreaking EP. The sound of the band is outstandingly rich, powerful and dynamic, the vocals are clear, full and melodic, while the whole recording has a really cool hardcore drive and rhythmic feel.
This is a well-crafted pop punk and hardcore disc, without being cheesy at all. The whole thing is a big emotional ride and an awesome musical experience. It’s impossible to not love it if you grew up on this genre in the late nineties and early 2000’s. The high energy tracks have that old school flavor blended into modern production that just sits perfectly in your speakers. Somehow out of nowhere the band has their timing down to a surgical precision, allowing Never Ending Avenue to cement themselves as one of undergrounds most quintessential new pop punk acts.
“Two Words”, however doesn’t thrive on timing, gimmicks or just sheer luck – it thrives on the fact that the band has honed their craft over the course of 6 rousing, catchy tracks. Thunderous hooks are juxtaposed against slashing guitar riffs and furious drumming, and frontman Trevor Thelen exuberant sneer comes to the fore here. Simply put, the EP adheres to an old-school style of pop punk that hasn’t been explored by the band’s peers in years, resulting in a hook-binge fest that will stick to the roof of your mouth and force you into coming back time and time again.
The heart and center of this album is the non-stop energy. Every track here has a level of immediacy that keeps the momentum going, and when the band dials it up to 11 and belts out top-tier, massive choruses such as the ones found on “Premature Ejaculation” and “Calling Home”, it’s impossible to shy away. Much of this can be attributed to the stupendous guitar work courtesy of Matthew Brinningstaull, who manage to whip out heaps of feverishly catchy riffs.
Heck, “Last December” and the oh-so bittersweet “Lovely Addiction” literally sounds like the kind of stuff that Blink-182 has been planning to write for the last decade, showing that the Michigan quartet aren’t afraid to draw influences from the genre’s paragons.
The band also maintains a darker edge in “Nervous Wreck”, as the track pummels the listener with thumping drums and aggressive riffage. The reason why “Two Words” may hold the promise of a mammoth success is the fact that it takes the core essentials of what made pop punk so endearing in the first place and puts a glistening, modern sheen on it.
Interspersed throughout this EP are moments that vividly recall the humble roots of this once ill-fated genre and I think the reason that it’s already sparked sentimental value in me is due to the fact that it captures the magic that I felt when I first received a physical copy of Green Day’s American Idiot back in 2004. Never Ending Avenue has clear intentions to bestow younger audiences with the same sense of awe-and-discovery. Whether they’ll crack it or not remains to be seen, but “Two Words” has all the ingredients necessary.