Review of Lullabies & Sleepless Nights (2007)
King Never (aka Matt McCabe) offers up an uneven and intermittently interesting batch of guitar-based ambient pieces on Lullabies & Sleepless Nights. The work here range from sweeping drifts that exemplify McCabe’s eloquent playing to assaults of twitch-inducing noise that simply try too hard to be edgy. It takes King Never three tracks before the CD garners any real attention. The combination of “Beautifully Broken” and “The Quiet Hours” presents the first sign of McCabe’s gentler hand and sense of easing layers together in intriguing patterns. It’s when he settles back, as in these tracks and the highlight (for me) of the disk, the warm drift of “Chaos of Day Fades to Night,” that King Never is at his best. The aggressive stuff works best in “Almost Asleep” where fuzzed-out guitar-rock power chords hammer down across a hypnotically wavering, mellow drift—but it works because it’s well placed and not constant.