nothing,nowhere.
Dark Magic


4.0
excellent

Review

by iChuckles USER (31 Reviews)
February 9th, 2024 | 19 replies


Release Date: 02/09/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Where've you gone, my little brain?

I'll happily admit that I don't particularly consider myself to be a fan of the emo-rap subgenre that plagued much of Soundcloud's catalogue in the late 2010's, that also seemingly wowed many millennials en masse – causing the genre to dominate the billboards and break all manner of streaming records. The often unbearably corny aesthetics that saw every other artist employ the "lil"-moniker while donning face tattoos and penning the edgiest song and album titles imaginable. It was a piece of musical history fraught with tiresome clichés. That's not to say there weren't merit to these artists' success or that they weren't talented (most of them were) but it was hard to shake the feeling that a vast majority of music that spawned out of this era came off of a conveyor belt: often lavishly produced to a tee and ripe with the most basic cookie-cutter hooks; lyrics about self-harm, depression, opium addictions – the novelty wore thin very fast.

Discovering nothing,nowhere. aka Joe Mulherin back in early 2019 was a revelation. The song "Dread" in particular chilled me to the bone: an ominous beat complementing Joe's storytelling about breaking down in his room following a tour cancellation the previous year due to severe anxiety. His nostalgic flow and mannerisms were a much-needed breath of fresh air amidst the bloated auto-tuned singing utilized by many of his peers in the genre. Digging deeper into his sophomore effort Ruiner made me realize that this was the blend of emo and hip-hop that truly resonated with me, held together competently by his own production and guitar playing. The subsequent Trauma Factory and last year's Void Eternal are jarring detours by comparison – both albums employ more post-hardcore trappings and pop-choruses, but Joe's DNA and vision are very evident throughout. He's clearly not content with sticking with the same formula on every release and reverting back to being an independent artist has finally given him the free reigns to produce and release music however he sees fit.

His most recent outing, Dark Magic is – to put it bluntly – his most expansive work yet. Seemingly stealth dropped out of the blue and spanning 18 tracks that chronicles ten year's worth of nothing,nowhere. music, it's the most unapologetically earnest batch of songs he's ever cooked up and he's got the songwriting chops to show for it. With few songs even clearing the two-and-a-half-minute mark, Dark Magic breezes by effortlessly. Just about every track features his typical brand of sizzling trap hi-hats and 808's, both complemented by the now tried and true, moody guitar plucking typical for the genre. "Pity Party", "Reaper Gang" and "WTF" are full-on emo club bangers boasting Joe's strongest vocal hooks to date. "No Emotion" features a towering chorus and harkens back to the strongest cuts on Reaper and Ruiner. "Haunted Home", "XXX" and "Beige" are clearly an extension of his post-hardcore endeavor pursued on Void Eternal, but they feel awkwardly slotted in on the tail end of the track listing and wind up being the dark horses on a record clearly meant to appeal to those who've longed for his return to full-blown, emo-tinged hip-hop. Penultimate "Drain Touch" and closer "lovelylittlehell" are two of the finest tracks Joe has ever written and produced – swirling synthesizers and restrained vocal melodies collide for a soundscape that feels like Joe has reached his final form and fully mastered his artistry. Dark Magic might not be a groundbreaking offering, but it feels like the project Joe truly wanted to make all along, with an admirable amount of care and attention being funneled to virtually every single track. Joe has also taken to social media to promise no less than 3 additional mixtapes dropping later this year and with that, comes the warranted concern of fatigue settling in, but Dark Magic is none-the-less a great mission statement for Joe's work ethic moving forward as an independent artist.



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user ratings (12)
3.1
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
artificialbox
February 9th 2024


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review! Glad someone wrote about this already. Void Eternal was in my top 10 last year so I’ve been super keen to check this out even though I know it’s gonna sound different.

iChuckles
February 9th 2024


648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man!



Void Eternal wasn't really my cup of tea and felt like it got lost in the oversaturation of metal & hardcore releases last year. This might be my favorite work of his thus far.

artificialbox
February 9th 2024


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the dude knows how to write a good hook thats for sure. couple tracks into this now and I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

artificialbox
February 9th 2024


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

also loving the little news reporter bits haha. really helps to tie things together conceptually.

iChuckles
February 9th 2024


648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They're kinda goofy at first but yeah they definitely hammer home the theme!

mkmusic1995
Contributing Reviewer
February 9th 2024


1560 Comments


I listened to bits of their last record and it really wasn't my cup of tea. Nice review, nevertheless! Glad you got some enjoyment out of this!

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 9th 2024


5349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

nice rev chucky, cool to see this got one! rly enjoying this, forever wishing he'd expand the ruiner sound a lil more and this is the closest thing we've gotten thus far

Spec
February 9th 2024


39047 Comments


Void Eternal was cool. I was surprised to learn just now that there were four albums that came before it. I thought this guy was new.

iChuckles
February 9th 2024


648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Jesper! Yeah this definitely picks up where Ruiner left off nicely.

veninblazer
February 9th 2024


16664 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

there's some cool vibes here so far but i'm not super crazy about this guy's newer stuff

edit: okay this is getting samey and it feels way longer than it is.

Trebor.
Emeritus
February 10th 2024


59775 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Last album was his worst and this one is his best

veninblazer
February 10th 2024


16664 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

felt like i was hearing the same song 7 times over till he switched it up at the back half tbh

henryChinaski
February 10th 2024


4957 Comments


wait, new album already? Had no idea...

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2024


5349 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

dude's just so good at the atmospheric sadboi trap stuff, okok/wtf/pity party are incredible. kinda wish he'd fleshed out songs like that a lil more and made an 11ish track album without stuff like reaper rap/freestyle but this is still a v nice release fs

veninblazer
February 13th 2024


16664 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Reaper is his best album

Scoot
February 13th 2024


21916 Comments


i was a huge stan of this dude years ago

who are you and bummer are easily my favorite

i really wish he had kept up with trau choi, that band could have gone places

https://trauchoi.bandcamp.com/track/cellar one of my favorite songs of the 2010s, if you're a sunny day fan it's a must listen

Scoot
February 13th 2024


21916 Comments


ive been doing well hits very different being 33 vs 25

henryChinaski
February 14th 2024


4957 Comments


"kinda wish he'd fleshed out songs like that a lil more and made an 11ish track album"

agreed.

Donul
February 15th 2024


105 Comments


I'm a metalhead through and through and Void Eternal just didn't speak to me. This is so much better in my book, songwriting quality is much higher too. Not that I don't like a bit of post-hardcore creeping into my emo-rap, but if it's basically become a 2023 version of a 2000s Nu Metal Band, unless it's REALLY well done, I don't really care for it.



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