Nothing More
Nothing More


3.5
great

Review

by jitteryzeitgeist USER (36 Reviews)
August 9th, 2014 | 16 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Creative and mature in parts, Nothing More has a bright future ahead of them.

I'd like to relate that reviewing this album has a been a true bastard to review. Nothing More, this San Antonio alterna-prog-core thing has been vexing the hell out of me on how to properly describe their first major label effort. You may have heard the bands soaring single "This is the Time (Ballast)" already, and it gives you a decent idea of tone and the fairly amazing crystal pipes Johnny Hawkins has nestled in his neck. Nothing More is much more expansive an album than the single hints at, but it also shows a band early in their well-deserved career making mistakes young bands make.

As I've previously iterated, the instrumentation is tough to nail down. The guitars can go from chiming licks and runs, dirty kick-drum synced djent, wall-of-sound big chords, and emotionally textured wails. Bass and drums slither about beneath the melody, creating some truly killer fills and accents and aren't afraid to deviate from the main riff. Synth and samples provide both interesting textures, but unfortunately it can get a little saturated. At all times, the cold and desperate overtones that you'd find in much more mechanical-sounding industrial albums blend seamlessly with the ragged and angst-ridden feel of so many post-hardcore acts, accentuated with an adventurous prog playfulness, and slathered with a healthy layer of snotty "Fuck You" attitude that only rock and punk can do so well. I'm fairly averse to simply name dropping a bunch of other acts because there aren't a lot of acts that sound like Nothing More, even current radio freshment Starset and Gemini Syndrome... but if I must, then try to imagine a sort of shifting point between Protest the Hero, Alter Bridge, My Chemical Romance, and At The Drive-In. On second thought, just go listen to them, because that's probably way the hell off.

One of the best qualities of this is the absolute earnestness of the entire affair. The album pinnacle is the progressive "God Went North" (a part where the album should have ended, but more on that in a second) is drenched with so much emotion and honesty it's difficult to imagine a better use of all the elements of Nothing More. The vocals are wrenching, the synths provide a great feel on top of the rest of the band, and the whole thing just explodes into a crescendo of crushing guitars and banshee wails I'd expect to hear from more seasoned and less... well... radio friendly acts. Other songs following along here are the wounded "I'll Be OK" and "Jenny". Directly contrasting that emotionally-charged display is the much more straightforward "Christ Copyright", a low-end exercise in criminally addictive chorus construction and charged lyrics about the nature of modern-day religious activity. There's plenty of headbanging to be had here with songs like "Take a Bullet" and "If I Were".

Despite all this goodness, there's something to be said about simplicity. There are at least three filler interlude tracks that serve little purpose (especially the ten minute closer and the entire-album-repeated-remix "Surface Flames"). "Here's to the Heartache" is a mild, radio-friendly affair that could pass for a song from The Used. "Sex & Lies" has some interesting lyrical wordplay but just doesn't have the "stuff" to hold up to the rest of the album. Above all, the biggest complaint is the way the samples run roughshod over quite a bit of the album, detracting from the actual art of Nothing More's songwriting.

Nothing More showcases a band surprisingly mature for their relatively little national experience, already deep within their craft, and ready to progress. You'd be hard-pressed to find another album receiving radio airplay this dense and with this much replayability, even with the few quirks and embellishments it contains that drag it down a bit. Only time will tell if these Texans have what it takes, but all early indications are great.



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user ratings (216)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Deuce8311 (4.5)
"Empty me, empty nation. Emptied us of inspiration. Bastard sons and broken daughters, all bow down ...

H. (4)
An absolutely stunning album from rock's new superstars....

Joel Hargreaves (4)
Nothing More have released a belter of an album, which acts as a shining light amongst a sea of medi...


Comments:Add a Comment 
VaxXi
August 9th 2014


757 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love how people love God Went North. If it wasn't for a really out of place ambient intro it would be one of my top tracks of the year. Also a great review, nice to see a review on a little less than perfect review spectrum.

Drpibb
August 9th 2014


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

At first I really really didn't like 'Here's to the Heartache', 'Friendly Fire' and 'Surface Flames', but the more I listened to the album's back half (about Mathew Effect to God Went North) straight through, the more I really liked them all.

Even though I've had this album for over a year now, it has really taken to my liking since they inked the new publishing deal and the CD was promoted hard.


All that said, good review, pos'd!

Digging: Rishloo - Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
August 12th 2014


6560 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Damn this is good, surpassed expectations by a mile. Thinking of giving it a 4 right now.

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Cimnele
August 12th 2014


360 Comments


try to imagine a sort of shifting point between Protest the Hero, Alter Bridge, My Chemical Romance, and At The Drive-In


grosssss


sapient
August 28th 2014


2163 Comments




Digging: Cal Chuchesta - Cocoa

Crymsonblaze
September 10th 2014


7536 Comments


This is the time is getting airplay on the local rock station here

Not bad at all

JayM
September 23rd 2014


11 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album. 'I'll Be Ok' and 'God Went North' are so soaked in emotion that they'd
fit perfectly in some hospital drama. I get really wrapped up in the lyrics and the music in general and
these two tracks sometimes bring a tear to my eye. First ever album to have 2 songs to do this.

Ballast, Christ Copyright, Mr MTV, Matthew Effect, I'll be OK, If I Were, Friendly Fire after the 1.50 mark,
Jenny and of course God Went North are all my favourites .

Great album.

tresm87
September 23rd 2014


1367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

definitely a solid album and up and coming band, but I'm not quite sure how somehow they made it on the mainstream rock radio level and so many other bands never have the chance. must be the bands they tour with or something. idk. at any rate they're the best new alt/rock/metal band you can listen to on the radio. btw was only listening to the radio because it literally was my last available option for music at the time.

Digging: Hellions - Die Young

peartnoy
October 31st 2014


1228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this album but I don't quite get how the average rating is so high.

peartnoy
October 31st 2014


1228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

God Went North is the closest a song has come to making me cry. Holy fuck these vocals.

boyematthew
November 15th 2014


7 Comments


Big Fan, Please listen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5jHSIn-IiU

LunaticSoul
December 5th 2014


214 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think I'm allergic to mainstream rock, but some of the bits hit haaaard. How the hell a band that has 2+ million views on Youtube and multiple passages in radio opens for Periphery?

Digging: Rishloo - Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth

n60storm
December 6th 2014


33 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Relistened, surprised how well it held up. Clear cut AoTY 2014.

Green Baron
December 6th 2014


20325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album would be sooo much better if it ended at Track 10.

VaxXi
December 6th 2014


757 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Track 16 tho

LunaticSoul
December 15th 2014


214 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well some of the tracks pack a discrete punch but some of them are quite embarassing, with weak lyrics,
playing and melodies overall. How the hell this is more than a 3.0/3.5?

Embarassing tracks:
I'll Be Ok
Here's to the Heartache
Friendly Fire

Low tier:
First Punch
Jenny
If I Were
Take a Bullet

Good tier:
the rest

The 'did we just copy a Tool riff?' tier:
The Matthew Effect





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