Philly punks Nothing are back from the brink with a new record that draws on some really, really bad times.
It’s been two years since [a]Nothing[/a] released their debut album ‘Guilty of Everything’ – not a lengthy absence given the barrage of shit the band have been dealing with ever since.
After being beaten up outside one of his shows, lead singer Nicky Palermo was left severely injured and with a $60,000 medical bill. Battling health problems, depression, addiction and the loss of both a parent and a close friend, Nothing still managed to knock out a second album, only to discover that they had a silent financial backer in one Martin Shkreli – the villainous ‘entrepreneur’ best known for hiking up the price of HIV drugs (and buying Wu-Tang’s one-off record for two million dollars just to “show off”). Not being able to justify working with such a humongous douche, the band made the tough decision to shelve the album.
It’s understandable then, that Nothing would feel ‘Tired of Tomorrow’ – as is the title of their resurrected follow-up record. But rather than being overwhelmed by the tragedy that has tailed them, the band poured all their feels into ten new tracks. The result? A melancholy blend of shoegaze, hardcore and alt rock overlaid with Palermo’s dark and dreamy vocals.
Tackling morality, mental health and troubled relationships, the album’s strength is in its deeply personal lyrics. In ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder) Palermo reflects on his own self-destructive nature. “Can someone find a cure, ‘cause you know me and you know I am not well / I always knew I’d eventually hurt you.” It’s a story that feels familiar – troubled individual, pushes everyone away. And it’s this relatable honesty that connects Nothing to their passionate fan base.
‘Vertigo Flowers’ and ‘Curse of the Sun’ are punk-rock tracks reminiscent of ‘Blue Skies’ era Ataris and hookier than anything we heard on ‘Guilty of Everything’. The steeped-in-distortion sound of the band’s debut has been pared back and what’s left is a more mature, if equally dark, rock record.
Finale and title song ‘Tired of Tomorrow’ is a six-minute piano ballad born out of Palermo’s desire to not see another day. It’s hard not to feel emotionally drained when imagining what went into writing such a soul-bearing record. The end result is bleak, it’s sad and it’s painfully raw. Its message is that life is an inevitable string of disappointing experiences, which will leave you swamped in self-loathing. You can only hope that Nothing found the process of making this album in some way cathartic. If not, its reception at very least, should be something worth waking up for.
Record label: Relapse Records
Release date: 13 May, 2016