Do Nothing – ‘Zero Dollar Bill’ EP review: rousing, acerbic post-punk anthems for confusing times

The Nottingham band's debut EP pairs humour with aching sincerity and existential questions about modern-living

It’s fitting, perhaps, for Nottingham’s Do Nothing to be releasing their debut EP right now. Over the last couple of years the band have established themselves figureheads for a confused generation with razor-sharp singles and a live show that provokes all kinds of emotions. They’re just as likely to laugh at the state of things as they are to point the finger and rant. What may perceived as a threatening edge yet are actually casual and brimming with dry humour. Basically, they sound like they could be your mates, venting, fuming and trying to make sense of life’s challenges at a post-work pint.

In the build up to ‘Zero Dollar Bill’, however, they’ve said that staring at a blank canvas for a full body of work was terrifying – the endless possibilities and opportunities for immense success and utter failure nag away at almost all emerging artists. They needn’t worry, though. ‘Zero Dollar Bill’ instantly chimes with their dejected dynamic – it’s from the gutter, brimming with attitude and totally immersive.

Opener ‘Comedy Gold’ brings to mind the spirit of the late Mark E Smith with a snarling and detached vocal. Perhaps a reference point the band must be tired of by now along with the frantic squeal Talking Heads, yet the magnitude of such influences in their approach can’t be overlooked. The drawl of frontman Chris Bailey’s unhinged deadpan delivery can be likened to recent names like Ought and Girl Band, but with heaps of character.

‘Contraband’ will likely be the release’s defining moment, though. It’s a dropping of the guard where their signature absent delivery eases off, and the guitars and lyrics coalesce into something flecked with a gripping sadness and agony. The confusion and anger from those early singles remain on ‘LeBron James’, a sinister track and witty lyricism where Bailey ends up bemoaning that he got “all dressed up for nothing”, like a moody child mid-tantrum. ‘Fits’, penned about the emotions of drifting away from the things that meant a lot to you when you were younger, delivers a final thrilling sucker-punch.

If you’re faced with a sense of confusion or boredom at the state of things in life right now – then Do Nothing are the people providing your anthems. After all, the band have said they deal in such currencies. It might have taken some working out, but this EP has all the makings of a legendary first statement. They’re a voice that we should be immensely thankful for right now.

Release date: April 10

Record label: Exact Truth

You May Like