Nothing More
The Stories We Tell Ourselves


3.0
good

Review

by Pistol Pete USER (42 Reviews)
September 18th, 2017 | 52 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Do we really want it?

However much you might not like alternative rock or anything the radio puts out, Nothing More is a band you have to give a solid amount of respect to. It takes a certain level of confidence to stylize your band as this fist-raising, rebellious group bent on preaching and critiquing opinions about world issues, modern society and sticking it to the man. It takes even more confidence to do that while squeezing yourself into a very well-worn genre that has already seen its fair share of bands try to do just that. But Nothing More have persisted nonetheless with a strong catalog of singles and a couple solid albums that somehow hold up to entire listens without becoming exhausting. And unlike certain other rock groups (Rise Against being my go-to culprit for this), they actually try something new and branch out a bit musically rather than play the same sounds into the ground. Their latest album The Stories We Tell Ourselves seeks to once again supply listeners with a fresh batch of heavy-hitting rock tracks, this time with an even heavier dose of electronics.

The real strength of this band, one which continues here, is the energy they can pack into a song. That’s an area a whole host of modern rock bands tend to falter in. “Go to War” was a smart choice for lead single. It’s different enough to avoid being called a re-hash of their Self-Titled, while structured in exactly the way that made songs on that album memorable; slick guitar-work, passionate vocals that juggle the stop-start dynamic of the song well and a chorus that walks the talk. “Ripped Apart” has that heavy Tool-esque groove in the early sections that worked well on much of the first half of the self-titled. The vocals here particularly standout with Jonny Hawkins bouncing effortlessly between ferocious growls and fluttering borderline-falsettos. The finish on this track is also as mighty as any of the standouts on past albums. “Who We Are” also proves successful despite the simplicity with which it was constructed. It spices things up with a powerful bridge and lightning-fast riffs capping off its choruses.

But it’s hard to ignore the fact that many of the ideas at work here fall flat, and unfortunately balance out the good. The first half is littered with hit-or-miss nu-metal influence by the numbers. When it doesn’t work (“Do You Really Want It?” or “Let ‘em Burn”), it has the same stomach-churning feeling fans of Periphery often get when Spencer Sotelo goes off on weird tangents with his voice. Elsewhere, acoustic ballad “Just Say When” feels like that time Linkin Park tried a purely acoustic song on their 2010 album A Thousand Suns, but at least comes off slightly more listenable than “The Messenger”. It’s undeniably misplaced here. Earlier ballad “Still in Love” starts well enough, but ends up in this schmaltzy, modern-day Incubus sound by the chorus and goes virtually no where interesting through its entirety after that. Maybe the biggest offender of all is the dangling carrot of an opening interlude that contains muffled, energetic and chaotic screams/samples to get you hyped up only to lead into an awkward track (“Do You Really Want It?”) with its confusingly quiet intro and ultimately average opening riff.

Nothing More are a very good rock band capable of offering a bit more bite than your average radio rock these days without going overboard. But the topics they choose to write about (politics, war, and society’s unwillingness to look introspectively and change) are inherently fragile and risky in the sense that if the listener isn’t bought into them, it’s very hard to keep their attention or have them take the entire experience seriously after that. On 2014’s self-titled album, they were able to overcome that with memorable hooks, blistering moments of sheer intensity, and a general control for quality across the album. Here, the over-the-top aggression, failed experiments and questionable influences are all too glaring and weigh the album down as a result. For every highlight or positive moment, there are moments like that high-pitched whiny thing Jonny does with his voice to kick off single “Don’t Stop” that make you raise an eyebrow. And, as a result, the overall experience falls somewhere smack in the middle of enjoyable and headache-inducing. Nothing less. Nothing more.



Recent reviews by this author
Arcane Roots Melancholia HymnsWhen Icarus Falls Resilience
Crib45 The Ghosts Among MeCrib45 Marching Through the Borderlines
P.O.S Chill, DummyKarnivool Asymmetry
user ratings (66)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
PistolPete
September 18th 2017


4457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Surprised at how much I had to write about after listening to this all weekend. Not a band I would usually write a review for.



Feedback welcome always.

Digging: Arcane Roots - Melancholia Hymns

Kalopsia
September 18th 2017


1828 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i love this band to pieces... but this album just falls flat for me.



seems they've lost all that creative juice they found when they used to tour with Fair to Midland.



everything on here is just... fine, but forgettable. i listened to the entire album twice this past weekend and i honestly can't remember anything

Digging: Dorje - Catalyst

PistolPete
September 18th 2017


4457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

pretty much my feeling too man, oh well it does have some good tracks though that I see myself still listening too a while from now

SteakByrnes
September 18th 2017


4096 Comments


This doesn't sound as promising as their last album

Digging: Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas - Feeling of Unity

VaxXi
September 18th 2017


4098 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Album is pretty lame

Digging: FERN - FERN

InFlamesWeThrash666
September 18th 2017


6859 Comments


Gotta admit that the singer has pipes

Digging: Darkthrone - Circle the Wagons

PistolPete
September 18th 2017


4457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Yes. Yes he does! He definitely puts them to work here too.

BeyondCosby
September 18th 2017


1685 Comments


I would change "Taking it to the man" to "sticking it to the man" in your first paragraph. I'll have to check this out since their first one was pretty decent.

LethalPaintball
September 18th 2017


603 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

enjoyable album

Digging: DJ Okawari - Compass

Toondude10
September 18th 2017


11436 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

bad album

Digging: Trivium - The Sin and the Sentence

AaroN911
September 18th 2017


1807 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's missing that punch the previous album came with... has some highlights but not many at all

PistolPete
September 18th 2017


4457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@Cosby thanks man yeah sometimes my memory of sayings isn't that great...

LethalPaintball
September 18th 2017


603 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

idk i liked this more than the s/t but im clearly in a minority on that

Ecnalzen
September 18th 2017


7155 Comments


Hmm... Not sure if I want to go any further with this band than the s/t. I was really into that album for a bit when they kind of blew up, but I don't really come back to it much, besides Jenny and This Is The Time.

PostMesmeric
September 18th 2017


696 Comments


Big step down from their last album.

JakeStallion
September 18th 2017


459 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good review! First impressions were not great for me, but the album has grown on me considerably in the 15 or so listens I've given it so far. The songs are definitely less creative overall than he lay 2 albums, but there are definitely still some great hooks here. Absolutely love the closing track.

Kritical
September 18th 2017


24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good review. Can't help but appreciate the closing line. I have to disagree with the verses on "Don't Stop" lowering the quality of the album as a whole. Sure, it raised an eyebrow, but in a good way. If they didn't jump outside the box once in awhile, I wouldn't like them. While they didn't go as far outside the box as I'd have liked, the album is hardly boring. In fact, I think it's their most polished, thought-out, and consistent album yet. I feel like I should mention that the song "Go to War" isn't necessarily about war. It's a pretty obvious metaphor for fighting with your loved ones, but no one seems to be catching it. As far as the political thing goes, if these lyrics trigger some people, I wouldn't be surprised. Politics will always be part of music though, so I see no reason to knock points off for that.



What I want to see on their next album is more experimentation like what we hear at the end of Fade In/Fade Out. I'm hoping for some heavy songs with guitar solos and other instrumental breaks so as to contrast and supplement Hawkins' vocals.



Favorite Songs: Ripping Me Apart, Funny Little Creatures, The Great Divorce

jalexander311
September 19th 2017


21 Comments


"Fade In/Fade Out" is beautiful, and deeply emotional

Digging: Archspire - Relentless Mutation

Aerisavion
September 19th 2017


1089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh shit. Forgot this was coming out.



Need to jam on way home from work.

Digging: Akira Yamaoka - Silent Hill 2

smaugman
September 19th 2017


4374 Comments


oh no another non-scandinavian attempt at Ø, it's so cringe to replace O with Ø



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy