Review Summary: Eclipsing history and influence
Throughout the last few years, a number of new acts have been shaping a compelling resurgence of the Shoegaze and Dream Pop that spawned in the latter half of the 80s and into the early 90s. Standouts amongst this affair include Merchandise, No Joy, Technicolor Teeth, Whirr, Tamaryn, Nights, and Vestals. Although it’s important to note that “resurgence” is a fleeting way to examine this recent musical happening, because to suggest that this sound is nothing more than a revival of the sound unearthed by pioneers such as My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain, or Slowdive is to ignorantly overlook the creativity and potential for a new generation of artists. It also suggests that this sound is merely a product of time, and anybody who attempts to build upon it is devoid of originality or talent, which is to completely ignore the idea of taking a preexisting idea and exposing it within a new and unique context.
A fine example of this idea is Nothing, a band who on their debut album Guilty of Everything
, extend upon preexisting frames of sound, like the ghostly melancholy of Slowdive and the noisy dissonance of The Jesus and Mary Chain, and engrave themselves as a singular and concrete entity within it. Launching out of this etching is the gentle and swaying chords of ‘Hymn To The Pillory’, painting a picture of moonlit mellowness before instantly obscuring into thick blankets of cloudy noise. Subsequently ‘Dig’ follows this steam through simultaneously quiet and loud sounds, as vocalist Domenic Palermo’s ethereal drenched vocals contrast the immense guitar drones and blasting percussive penetration. This is a common theme throughout Guilty of Everything
, balancing seemingly inconsistent sonic measures, bound to their own weightless and conflicting logic, that effortlessly glide through heaven and hell.
Amongst diversity of range within single tracks, assortment of style from track to track is something Nothing also embrace throughout the record. Out of the menacing, distorted embers of ‘Bent Nail’, Nothing transform into fully fledged melodic punk band, with forceful textures and a speedier structure that’s also explored later on ‘Get Well’, until around the half-way point when they breakdown and dismantle the swiftness and vaporize the grieving flames into the celestial blue. Many of the tracks throughout Guilty of Everything
resemble a sound that is far more cinematic and grandiose than most of their contemporaries, concluded by the raging abundance of crash symbols and towering guitar drones. This quality is best heard on the theatrical ‘B&E’, as splashes of percussion and crushing distortion incidentally scores a whimsical narrative, before constructing itself into a blistering sky scraper of chaotic drum fills and intense guitar howls that take the song beyond the cinema screen.
Living in an age of modernity, when we’re given a such unique opportunity to flip through the pages of time and examine so many different styles of music, why are so many new bands thrown aside and cast away to doom and irrelevance as merely impersonators of an established sound? This embrace, extension, and melting of sounds, no matter what era they were spawned, is something that should be celebrated rather than criticized. With Guilty of Everything
, Nothing prove that established sounds such as Shoegaze and Dream Pop, and influence in general, is purely a product of the listener. What ultimately matters is how we react to music beyond the constrains of age old definition and its place in history, through how these sounds makes us feel in the present. And right now, Guilty of Everything
is the sound of a band magnificently balancing distinctive styles, simplistic and turbulent structures, and harsh and dreamy textures that eclipses history, influence, and definition.