Review Summary: A step in the right direction
Looking back on Nothing Rhymes With David’s debut EP, Beard Logic Riddles
, it’s clear that the man behind it, David James Young, had quite a walk to go before he would make a major impact on the music scene. Double Negative, All the Way
is the next step on that journey, and it gets Young in a comfortable position to prepare for the next stage. The flaws that were present on BLD
are polished here, certainly not to perfection, but worthy of praise just the same. Beyond that, though, there’s also been a general improvement overall.
NRWD’s guitar work is now more fluid and vibrant, ringing with passion and a noticeable attempt to distance itself from some of Young’s contemporaries. “Useless Blues (End of Act One)” houses possibly the best example of this, with NRWD using heavy distortion to create something akin to Tom Waits’ “Going Out West”. The change in style from basic folk to experimental rock works well, and it’s a shame that there aren’t more examples of it on the EP, as it’s exactly what Young needs to incorporate more. Not to say that the rest of the EP can’t stand up on its own, it performs that feat marvellously.
Though they weren’t necessarily an area of underperformance on his last effort, there has been a great improvement in Young’s hooks. There’s no denying the catchiness of “Flocking Fish to Sinking Ships”, or “No Exchanges (Act One, Scene One)”. Their choruses provide accessibility, getting the listener comfortable enough to pick up some of the more intriguing aspects of the EP, such as a literature motif that rewards further listening (“Let’s go see “Othello” with an amateur cast”), as well as easing them into Young’s nasally vocal style, which is yet another area that he shows improvement in. He’s more assured here with his vocals, confident in what he’s trying to accomplish without falling into the trap of arrogance.
It’s not a giant leap forward, but it would have been silly to ever expect that. Instead, Nothing Rhymes With David is taking a slow, but assured journey. In music history, this has often proven to be the better path (the alternative often ending up with crashing and burning horribly), and it seems to be working for Young. Double Negative, All the Way
proves that he has potential, and it’s not being squandered in the slightest.