Never Again, Demo (Rebirth Records, 2021)

Never Again is an upstart New Jersey band who I assume formed from the ashes of the band Fencecutter.

I assume this because one day Fencecutter announced they were breaking up and subsequently disappeared from my heavily curated Instagram feed.

Then, a profile randomly appeared in my feed a couple months ago. The profile featured two New Jersey bands—Never Again and Cutdown—using a shared account, much like Long Island bands Rule Them All and the Fight did with the old Jukai page.


The Never Again demo cassette is listed on Rebirth Records as being for fans of Breakdown and Murder Weapon. I’d never heard Murder Weapon before, but after a cursory listen, I’d say it’s a strong comparison.

The entire vibe on this demo owes a lot to the late '80s New York stomp and shake of bands like Breakdown and Outburst. The big difference is these songs don’t have some of the meandering that gives the 87 Demo its menacing feel, nor the complex songwriting that leads to so many of early Breakdown’s top-notch singalongs. 

Structurally these songs are more akin to the Lockin’ Out facsimile of late '80s NYHC. They get in and get out. There’s a lot fewer repeating parts, and no crazy buildups like the intros to “Kickback” or “Safe in a Crowd”. The average song length on here is like 40 seconds to a minute shorter than the average song on the 87 Demo

“Disillusioned” is basically one fast riff and one slow riff, with the classic move of bringing the intro back in as the mosh part. “Dead Wrong” has a Breakdown-esque midtempo singalong, but instead of being a repeating chorus, it punctuates a dance part at the end of the track. 

Never Again do opt to flesh shit out a bit with the bass break on “Eye to Eye”—the longest song on the record. I think the meandering outro on this track actually works really well, in that it makes me want to creep around my room like an idiot and kick a hole in my wall when the guitars come back in. 

The devotion to brevity is a double-edged sword. You’re getting a punchy, digestible demo on one hand. On the other hand, Outburst and Breakdown had cool shit like pre-choruses. There’s a lot more meat to chew with the classic tracks. 

Going shorter on a demo was probably the right call though. Newer, younger bands can get lost in the sauce and derailed if they meander too much. Never Again nail it in that regard, leaving the audience—myself included—wanting more.

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