REVIEW: Nothing – ‘Guilty of Everything’


Artist: Nothing
Album: Guilty of Everything
Genre: Shoegaze, Punk Rock
Label: Relapse Records

As some mornings I fight against existential crises, I can somehow calm myself down knowing that the enclosed thoughts within my head, held in by my bone and the muck of my nervous system are experienced by the neighbor I talk to too little, or my Aunt who has slowly crept out of my life. The bonds I had as a child are slowly fading, conversations with best friends somehow become more formal, and the walls of my house that kept me enclosed away during high school suddenly seem to be the only relaxant to an ever-growing anxiety disorder.

Because if anything, I am guilty of everything. I lie, I manipulate, I deceive, I produce jealously and gluttony, I am a sloth of a human being that knows how to produce extremely little compared to the generations behind me. I rue the thought of work, even for my own betterment, and I find it far too easy to lose the day away from sleeping late, gaining only little daylight before night returns to remind myself of how little I have done with my life. But, within all these failures comes a shroud of ambiguity. In attempting to find a moral compass, I find myself lost within a multitude of emotions, desires, and deceits. Much like the waves of sound erupting from Nothing’s debut LP, Guilty of Everything, these disillusions bleed out, and finally dissolve into the vast sound-scape. Because nothing is ever as straightforward as it is meant to be, and life can sometimes work itself out to be a mass of cluttered existence.

The journey through Guilty of Everything is brought on slowly, by means of “Hymn To The Pillory,” a building catalyst of shoegaze, distortion, and lush vocals. While the vocals take a backseat compared to the guitars, this production decision only highlights Nothing’s wonderful sense of melody. Seemingly weaving the instruments wielded with the throats called upon, Nothing create one massive pulse of sound, culminating in a tone that is beautifully full. The following “Dig,” is rightfully the best track that Guilty of Everything has to offer. Heavy, catchy, beautiful, and a magnitude of other words to describe it, “Dig,” should be anyone’s introduction to the band. Swooning vocals that carry you through the lush musical arrangements, coupled with a tightly locked rhythm section, “Dig” brings the noise. “Bent Nail,” which kicks in right after “Dig,” is the band’s most straightforward punk song, but with a massive twist near the end that will leave you in a state of awe even after multiple listens. Consisting of some of the heaviest of the album’s lyrics, “Bent Nail” concludes as a bipolar confession of sound, taking over the receipt with each experience.

“Endlessly” continues the band’s lush-fully full sense of sound, while slowing down the tempo a bit. “Somersault,” which at times feels like the sister track to “Endlessly,” is a perfect appreciation of the past acts and decades that showed Nothing how to hone their full sound. More reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and more, “Somersault” is a tonal shift for the album thus far, evoking a brighter, and more hopeful sense of sound. But, things are soon enough brought back to balance with “Get Well,” the punk inspired, sure to be fan favorite. Traversing through the back half of the album, we end with “Guilty Of Everything.” A bookend to the opener, “Hymn To The Pillory,” “Guilty Of Everything” is the quintessential window on the album. Tying together the band’s exemplary ear for melody, as well as their taste for full sound, Guilty of Everything ends with the perfect sculpture of their ambitions.

The lyrical and musical experience of Guilty of Everything is a trying listen, though Nothing cautiously carry you through it, masking the harder truths of human nature in gorgeous sound. The album invokes examination of internal existential enlightenment, and while you may not be happy with the outcome, Nothing pose pure questions on the current status of what it means to be human. What are you guilty of?

SCORE: 9.5/10

Review written by Drew Caruso – follow him on Twitter.

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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