Nevea Tears

Do I Have to Tell You Why I Love You

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Somehow meshing bruising hardcore, melodic emo, bludgeoning heavy metal, and danceable electronica into one weird-ass musical stew, southern California's Nevea Tears obviously gave little thought to convention when composing their 2004 debut album, Do I Have to Tell You Why I Love You. All of these styles and maybe more converge with mercurial results in rather stunning album highlights such as "Helium Queen," "Heavy Breathing," and "No One Ever Shuts Up," which, along with a pretty nifty instrumental called "Xiaoyu 74," make the band's at-times risky experiments seem well worth the effort. Not so less daring and less satisfying selections like "Who Would Be Tom Selleck?," "Johnny Cash vs. the Space Coyote," and "Today Cake, Tomorrow Spraying for Roaches," which try to mask their inferior songwriting with those nonsensical titles. At least that's the obvious deduction, seeing as a read through their lyrics shows they deal in the same topics of relationships and unrequited love as their superior counterparts -- not Tom Selleck, coyotes, or roaches. Anyway, that gripe aside, there's no denying Nevea Tears' clever turn with a phrase, a riff, or a synth beat, nor their abilities to assemble them all into very familiar and accessible rock song structures for easy assimilation. And if the bandmembers' ultimate mission is to avoid bored listeners at all costs, then they succeed at it in spades. Furthermore, and perhaps most encouraging of all, Nevea Tears' atypical sound still has plenty of room to grow over the course of subsequent albums.

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