- by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2016-05-19 Label: Relapse Records
Nothing's first album, Guilty of Everything, created some interest among people (me included) who like their music to be a combination of the quiet and the loud, the sweet and the sad, the distorted and the beautiful. With Tired of Tomorrow there are signs that they could turn into a much bigger and more important band than anyone thought.
The first chords of 'Fever Queen' have me interested but as soon as Domenic Palermo starts singing the melody it's all over. The blend of up-lifting/emotional chords played on distorted/delayed/reverbed guitars with a beautiful vocal melody absolutely slays me every time. That Nothing can't quite maintain this level thoughout Tired of Tomorrow is perhaps understandable (they're not here just to play me what I want to hear after all) but, at least for the next few songs, they do. The Dead Are Dumb is a bit more subdued. More of the sustained, single string guitar work of Slowdive in this one, breaking into a more conventional solo towards the end.
'Vertigo Flowers' is faster and there's something of Dinosaur Jr about the blend of major and minor chords - the way it's like proper song-writing, but also not. 'ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder)' has the first appearance of a post-hardcore influence that will return again. It's quite similar to Rival Schools. It's a personal prejudice but I'm not as engaged with this type or song and arrangement, although the tune is still strong. The gorgeous Nineteen Ninety Heaven blends a Bert Bacharach chord progression on the verse (Close To You, right?) with a heart-breaking Slowdive/Neil Halstead chord progression and melody on the chorus - "I'm living in a dream... Life's a nightmare".
After this, slightly disappointingly, 'Curse of the Sun' is quite close to the Smashing Pumpkins and Eaten By Worms has the quietloudquiet dynamics of grunge mixed with a bit of Nine Inch Nails' 'March of the Pigs' and the feeling that they are going to burst into the chorus from Radiohead's 'Creep' at any point. Everyone Is Happy is slower and very pretty with its descending, piano melody. But 'Our Plague' is a bit more post-hardcore/post-rock with its guitar arpeggios and goes on a bit too long. Fortunately, Nothing finish strongly with the title track. Something of a piano ballad that slowly bulds as the strings come in, but never becomes overblown.
Tired of Tomorrow comes very close to destroying any Album of the Year debate in May. There are five or six absolutely astonishing songs on this album. Emotional songs of resignation and hopelessness but with such beautiful arrangements and melodies that they somehow feel up-lifting. The best Shoegaze bands (and we're talking just three or four bands here) can do this. And now, Nothing can do it. However, there are also songs on Tired Of Tomorrow where there is either a post-hardcore or a grunge influence that I don't feel works as well for Nothing. The songs are still strong (they write great songs) but the presentation doesn't resonate with me as well. But, Tired Of Tomorrow should be a big step up for Nothing. You can imagine these songs being played live at big venues and it really working in the same way that Mogwai, Sigur Ros or Slowdive do.