Philly punks Nothing are back from the brink with a new record that draws on some really, really bad times.
Dongs Of Sevotion
...it's [B]Callahan[/B]'s lyrics that stake their chilling claim in your memory...
Callahan is the deadpan Wednesday Addams of alt-rock, lips curled with delight as he burns the hapless bit-part players in his fictionalised autobiography - friends, lovers, even himself - to cinders with a magnifying glass. He's the grinning gravedigger, the singing mortician. He isn't, however, the misanthrope his early records would have us believe. As his musical repertoire has expanded from minimalist folk to occasionally playful pop, so has his tolerance for the foibles of the flesh. 'Dongs Of Sevotion', from its silly title to its intermittent flashes of tenderness and humour, is the proof.
and publicly recall all the places they had sex when it comes time to despatch his corpse. With an irresistible Velvet Underground chug and a crowning chorus of falsetto sighs, it's the warmest, funniest and most blatantly sensual song he's recorded. 'Bloodflow', meanwhile, picks one of his favourite themes - the ruthless, animalistic side of human nature - and punctures its gruesome cynicism with the spaghetti-western boing of a jew's-harp and a league of cheerleaders.
Elsewhere, of course, there's the characteristic Smog malevolence. A piano chatters like teeth in 'Cold Discovery', as Callahan intones, "I can hold a woman down on a hardwood floor", and the halting 'Strayed' outlines the ways in which he's been unfaithful without a hint of apology.
Musically, 'Dongs...' is less audacious than 'Knock Knock'- despite the pulsing synth of 'Justice Aversion' and deconstructed metal of 'The Hard Road'. Not that it matters, for it's Callahan's lyrics that stake their chilling claim in your memory. They laugh in the face of death. They unfold like a scenic vista pockmarked by belching factories. The world is wonderful and terrifying, beautiful and malicious. It's all the better, and worse, for having Smog in it.
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