Album Review: Never Been Famous – “Charged” EP

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When people think of Austria, they think of Rentokill, Red Lights Flash, Estate, the great beers it offers, or maybe its beautiful mountains. But that’s not all this country has to offer. Melodic punk act Never Been Famous is quickly rising in Austria’s roster of truly great things. Influenced by the American skate punk scene, these guys deliver fast, technical, and creative wizardry on their most recent EP, “Charged.”

Released late in 2006, this EP was a hot album that I needed to get my hands on. Interesting cover art follows suit and the booklet offers a pro look, showing that these guys mean business. First thing you’ll notice with the release is the production. Crisp/clear sound, but it still has a certain classic feel due to the style these guys bring to the table. The drums, for example, sound really good all through the release – they are solid and as real as they can get. The EP starts off with “That’s Torn It”, a song that gives you the mood and impression for the rest of the cd – tech guitars and fast beats. Jan delivers his patented throaty voice, which you’ll become familiar with throughout the album. While listening to the album, you’ll have to take a minute and admire the work done on guitar by Tom and Eric. I can see that “A Wilhelm Scream” partnership going on already and it’s only getting better. They keep it simple and complicated at the same time, and unlike many bands, don’t over do it. It seems like they are years ahead! On a side note, don’t forget that this band started in 2001 but had a change in sound, which then lead to this EP. Following “That’s Torn It”, we go to “Poison Ivy” which really “shreds” on guitar, I mean really. The intro says it all. The guitars truly sound mint and gives this song the respect it deserves. Props goes to No Budget Studios in Linz – Austria. Afterward, “Signs of Science” shows us what kind potential Jan has on vocals. This song is the type which could be a single on any album. “Mediator” follows with a strong and catchy chorus line and brings on screaming back-up vocals which add another dimension. Again, they don’t over do it. All in all, a very solid release and in my opinion, a must for ANY self respecting punk collection.

Never Been Famous are only getting better with their sound and rising up in the Austrian scene. I know they are new compared to other Austrian bands but they are gaining the respect of many through punk rock’s elite worldwide. Expect big things from these five Austrians in the coming year.

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