REVIEW: Nothing undress what it means to be “shoegaze” on new LP, ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’

nothing tired of tomorrow review

Artist: Nothing
Album: Tired Of Tomorrow
Genre: Alternative, Rock

Though it’s only been two years in between albums for Philly-based alt-rockers Nothing, it feels as if the band has aged much more than that. Striking headlines over the past few months, the band’s tired motifs have not only personified their music, but almost every outlook that Nothing reaches. Between singer Dominic Palermo getting assaulted in Oakland to the startling revelation that Collect Records — the label the band was meant to release Tired Of Tomorrow on — was backed by America’s latest villain, Martin Shkreli, a price-gouging big-Pharma executive. Collect, run by Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, slowly fell apart. Throw the widespread backlash against Whirr and Nick Basset (Nothing’s bassist who was seemingly gone from the spotlight, only to be brought back in when press for Tired Of Tomorrow started churning) into the mix, and you have a cocktail for implosion. I once thought of Nothing’s absent-minded melancholy as a striking suit to wear, now I just think they may be some of the sorriest sons of bitches around.

With all of this circling fatigue of days ahead, the band’s sophomore album, Tired Of Tomorrow, is a monumental jump for the band, when one could imagine there was little to nothing left for them to emanate. While Guilty Of Everything was loud, heavily distorted and vocally whispered, Tired Of Tomorrow puts vocals closer in the foreground, highlights prettier melodies, and widens the band’s sonic palate to more than that favorite buzzword: “shoegaze.” If you were hoping to gaze at the floor throughout the entirety of this record, pick your head up and walk away — Tired Of Tomorrow is first a rock record, and much better for it.

Opening with “Fever Dream,” the album begins heavily, but soars with the melancholic beauty Nothing are so well known for creating. Pulsating the entire time, when the vocals settle into the mix it can be easily felt that this go-around will feature the band singing louder than ever, fittingly, as they have much more to say vocally and musically.

It’s entirely refreshing to feel each melody in the mix reverberating through the work — not that I was put off by Guilty Of Everything‘s “wall of sound” production — but for Nothing’s humble beginnings, they sure know how to paint a picture of striking ambiance and mood with their instruments.

“The Dead Are Dumb” plays almost like a mid-’90s imagining of the Twin Peaks soundtrack, but what is most striking by far is the beautiful melodies that fill the wide spaces the band give way for. As listeners make their way through the first two tracks, the band’s beauty and tonally conscious reservation of overdrive make Tired Of Tomorrow‘s opening a serene beginning.

That’s not to say that tracks like “Vertigo Flowers,” “ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder),” and “Curse Of The Sun” don’t hit hard — the latter hitting quiet hard — but it can be felt that the band is playing with tones more, giving each track and each vibe their dues.

The real joy of the work, though, are tracks like “Nineteen Ninety Heaven” (feat. Petal’s Kiley Lotz), “Everyone Is Happy,” “Our Plague,” and “Tired Of Tomorrow,” all of which are tracks that push the band’s devastating delivery to new heights, incorporating piano, strings, new sonic textures, and so much more. What this reservation and growth in songwriting really does for the work is make each time the band explodes with humming guitars and pounding drums that much more significant, that much more felt. Each tired measure stings just a little bit harder, and reminds the listener of what it took to get there.

Tired Of Tomorrow is devastatingly pure, unrelenting in delivery, and punishing in theme. With all of the sorrow and grief surrounding the band and the creation of this album, it’s amazing how beautiful it really came out. Nothing have successfully shaken the “shoegaze” brand, and can continue to grow as one of the more exciting rock bands currently active.

SCORE: 9/10

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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