“I was listening some radio show and they were talking about how there’s no good new music and they were referencing lots of random sort of MTV things and… It seemed so obvious that these were just people who didn’t either know where to look or weren’t willing to put the effort.” That’s what Andee, co-owner of Aquarius Records, said on Kenneth Thomas’ Blood, Sweat, Vinyl. DIY in the 21st Century. An amazing documentary movie that everyone should watch. Now, let’s think about what Andee said and apply it the band Nothing. The “MTV things” is a good way to start because one of the things that every listener will notice, or so I hope, is that Nothing is, at the core, a punk band full of dark ambiance, delivered by the music and Domenic Palermo’s lyrics. If you go back to the early 90s you will find a band that jumped into the mainstream, with the help of MTV, and had some of Nothing’s characteristics, or the other way around if that’s so fuckin’ important to you… Yeah, I’m talking about fuckin’ Nirvana. The other thing interesting about Andee’s words is the “where to look” thing. Well, Guilty of Everything, Nothing’s debut album, was released by Relapse Records (a metal label). Yeah, it’s probably a weird match and you didn’t see that shit coming. Well, let’s think again. Everything has a turning point, it doesn’t matter if we hate changes or not… It will eventually happen. Right now we’re seeing a fuckin’ turning point. Deafheaven’s Sunbather, Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Death Grips’ The Money Store, and Nothing’s Guilty of Everything, these are some of the records that are putting an end to the limits that we know. I mean, they were not the firsts to stretch the boundaries but they are definitely, because they are what we know now, the ones to put the boundaries on the moon. We can even look at Nothing’s own history. They released their stuff in an indie rock label, in a punk label and now in a metal label. There’s no stopping this shit: eclecticism is our next stop. Nothing’s debut album is, indeed, another important landmark on the music business. Just like Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing.…., etc – No, I’m not saying that that is better or it will make the same exact impact… Fuck off!
That being said, let’s jump into Nothing’s world. The band, which if from Philadelphia, was formed in 2011 by Palermo (guitars/vocals) after some complicated moments and the break-up of his band, the hardcore outfit Horror Show. From their demo, Poshlost, to this album (don’t forget about their two EPs, Suns and Lovers and Downward Years To Come) the evolution is remarkable. Starting off with ‘Hymn To The Pillory’, where the first moments of melancholy are attacked with loud and noisy guitars, to ‘B&E’ (a track that was re-recorded, since it was present on their demo), that seems to use a type of crescendo that is always limited (I’m aware of the weirdness of this statement, thank you). There’s no stopping or dull moments in here. Brandon Setta (guitars/vocals), that joined the band after the demo, was indeed a turning point for Nothing. Looking at the cover you might think they have surrender in this bleak and dark world. Well, it doesn’t seem like that. The high levels of energy are a constant throughout these ten tracks. Jesu, My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Slowdive can be influences, but they don’t restrain Nothing’s freedom, not even for one second. Probably the diversity and cutting edge style that I’m talking about will not making sense at first. You just need to pay attention and let the repeat button do his job. In the end I can promise you this: the music and lyrics on Guilty of Everything will make a huge impact on you. You will not explore Nothing’s music, you will explore yourself. “Spent summers in a well watching pale moons disappear. Alone.” Haven’t we all?