Review: No Devotion – Permanence

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Two years ago, Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Jamie Oliver, Stuart Richardson and Luke Johnson didn’t know if they would ever make music again. But last spring, ex-Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly confirmed in an interview with Radio Cardiff that he would be working with the five former Lostprophets members on a new project.

And only a few months later, No Devotion emerged from the shadows, with their debut single ‘Stay’.

The band’s first full-length album comes in the form of Permanence, released via frontman Rickly’s own label, Collect Records, and featuring drums from Matt Tong of Bloc Party (former drummer Luke Johnson left the band in late 2014).

Permanence is everything the name suggests. It is vast and ambitious, yet at the same time has a kind of understated elegance. It feels both effortless and captivating – Rickly’s ethereal vocals filter so delicately through glistening opener ‘Break’, and ‘Why Can’t I Be With You?’ is laden with hypnotic, mystical synths and hazy guitars that blend together to make something utterly mesmerising.

Leaning more towards the rock side are ‘I Wanna Be Your God’ and the intense, hard-hitting ‘Addition’ with its looming, ominous midsection that builds to a heavy crescendo. Elsewhere, ‘Eyeshadow’ is dark and brooding, with expertly layered guitar melodies and vocal harmonies. And debut single ‘Stay’ is simply stunning – a cascade of glimmering electronics, vocals that flit between raw and atmospheric, and a soaring, entrancing chorus.

Closing track ‘Grand Central’ is expansive and impending – Rickly’s vocals echo blissfully in the sparse, steady beat of its verses, mingling with carefully placed skittering synths that create an exquisite melodic texture.

Permanence is a sophisticated, enthralling, and exceptionally crafted debut. It is not a record that will pass you by and leave you unaffected – Permanence will remain with you.

Permanence is released on 25th September via Collect Records.

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Final year English Literature student. Often found making lots of noise behind a drum kit. Also a writer of album & live reviews, features and news articles.

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