A band that never seem to slow down, Sydney punks Whatever, Forever have once again dished up a serving of piping hot tunes in the form of new single “Bury Me”. A sombre song, it’s a marked change from what we’ve come to know from the band as the five-piece embrace a more melodically driven approach to their work.
Whatever, Forever are Michael Godwin (vocals), Nick Adams (guitar/vocals), Chas Levi (guitar/vocals), Jack Rudder (bass) and Matt Doherty (drums).
Opening with clean vocals that foreshadow the mood of the track, there’s a solemn intensity to the song’s beginnings that we’ve seldom seen from the band before. Not that it hasn’t been present to this point, it’s just never quite sounded like this. The first lines “I’m feeling down, I’m circling a hole in the ground”, repeated throughout the song and sung by Levi, set the tone for everything the single represents.
It doesn’t seem like we’ve seen a song from the quintet that truly showcases the vocals of Godwin, Adams, and Levi like “Bury Me” achieves. While Godwin’s screams that have always prefaced the band are still there, the devastation they bring is balanced by the anguish and pain that defines the band’s supporting vocalists. Each is thrust into the spotlight at different times and each adds another dynamic layer to an already lively song.
And while the change in the approach to vocals may be the most significant, that’s not to say that the instrumental work in the song hasn’t improved monumentally. Everything about this band screams that they’re on the same page, every drum beat sounds like it hits harder, the string work feels fuller, and as a unit Whatever, Forever seem better than they’ve ever been.
“You only cared about yourself and where you fit in to all of this”
Lamenting on the experiences of somebody not wanting you around anymore, “Bury Me” feels like a departure from what the group set out to do on dual singles “Bridges” and “Whispers”, and a return to the ground that they broke on their 2017 three-track Decay. Yet in the two years since its release, you can hear with ease the growth that the band have undergone, resulting in an overly more mature sound that maintains the grit and grief that has always defined their music.
Aiming to, and successfully doing so, the band planned to exact a more melodic approach to their music than ever before. Frontman Michael Godwin shared, “It was definitely a deliberate choice to have more clean vocals on this track. We felt a big thing holding back our music in the past was a lack of melody in the vocals for people to get hooked into.”
“Bury Me” represents a significant time for Whatever, Forever. A band that has consistently thrown around their sound to see what works best, they might have just finally found it in this song. It marks a new chapter in the band’s story and if “Bury Me” is anything to go by, I can’t wait to read the whole book.
Listen to “Bury Me” via triple j Unearthed: