By Al Kaufman
Christofer Drew, the brains and talent behind Never Shout Never, is a good hippie. He writes lyrics like, “So trade your guns and fire with dove/We fight for love, and peace will find us with harmony.” He even supports the American Community Garden Association by inserting paper embedded with wildflower seeds to plant in his latest CD, Harmony.
But while opening cut, “Harmony,” is a plea for everyone in the world to get along, and closing cut “Sellout” is a diatribe against people who choose money over artistic integrity, the nine songs sandwiched between are all about the things that really seem to hold Drew’s interest more than anything else; girls.
Drew is a sensitive guy who has the heart of a 15-year-old boy. When he falls in love in with a girl, it is like no love that anyone else has ever experienced. Yes, he wants everyone to love everyone, but if you are a girl who spurs him, beware his verbal wrath. “cheatercheaterbestfriendeater” is a rant against a an ex who ended up sleeping with his best friend. It’s not an original story, but is told with great frothing at the mouth anger, and the melody line has that same post-pubescent feel as a Reel Big Fish song.
So while Drew is a hippie, this is no New Age, navel gazing guy with a guitar. Drew has the same punk-folk tendencies as a young Billy Bragg. And with Butch Vig serving as producer (he produced a little CD called Nevermind, by Nirvana), the songs are rich and varied. For every song that falls into a Bright Eyes sort of whine, there is something like “Piggy Bank,” a punk country tune about a guy who couldn’t be happier because his girl loves him even though he has no money.
Yet, Drew may have the innocent and naive heart of a teen, but he has a musical talent beyond his years.
Never Shout Never plays Center Stage, November 9.