Nothing – Dance on the Blacktop

Every now and then a band comes along to bring back all the emotional, raw feelings rock and roll thrives on. A typical trend within the genre for a while now, there have been a lot of misses and very few hits. Nothing, is a band of the latter.

A young band from Philadelphia, Domenic Palermo formed the band in 2010 and released their debut studio album Guilty of Everything (Relapse) in 2014. There’s been a lot of personal drama and struggles for their young career, yet, Palermo has taken all those issues and created a soundtrack of delightful grunge and post-hardcore. With new bassist Aaron Heard, Nothing brings you Dance on the Blacktop via Relapse Records.

The record starts off with a very early nineties grunge vibe with first single, ‘Zero Day’, a track that reels you right in with its alternative distorted hooks and magnetic percussion. The same can be said about ‘Blue Line Baby’ – where the guitar riffs are placed neatly with a serene verse that explodes in the chorus. ‘You Wind Me Up’ is upbeat and an anthem, while ‘Plastic Migraine’ finds itself in very indie rock territory.

Calm vocals are found in ‘Us/We/Are’ but again, it’s the guitar work that makes this track very likeable, while the seven-minute ‘The Carpenter’s Son’ is a deep tribute to Palermo’s father; emotionally strong and a creative representation of the anger he felt with his father’s struggle with addiction. The guitar work here is superb—Brandon Setta creates scattered riffs that fit the haunting atmosphere. The drama in ‘(Hope) Is Just Another Word With A Hole In It’ that concludes the album is mesmerizing and adds another layer of texture to the overall feel of the LP.

Listening to Dance On The Blacktop deeply and you will understand that Nothing has released an album that is emotionally well expressed lyrically and musically with elements of My Bloody Valentine and Smashing Pumpkins.