Guilty of Everything by Nothing (Relapse Records)
I am often interested in learning the past accomplishments of bands, especially when their current sound is vastly different than earlier in their career. Domenic Palermo, vocalist for recent Relapse signees Nothing, previously fronted hardcore group Horror Show that put out a few albums/EP’s on Deathwish Inc. You can watch a set with Palermo and Horror Show from 2012 HERE.
Nothing is an altogether different endeavor in that Palermo and band are clearly enamored by such bands as Slowdive, Ride and My Bloody Valentine in their use of lush guitar textures and barely intelligible yet pretty vocals. Searching back to their 2012 Downward Years to Come EP, you can hear the band’s evolution, involving the layered dissonant guitars in particular, the arrangements on Guilty of Everything are tighter and harder hitting emotionally. Nothing‘s music is rich and subtle, songs to play loudly to catch all the melodic guitar interplay and keyboards swimming through the mix.
Opening track Hymn to the Pillory gets better after each listen, starting pretty and quiet, Kyle Kimball’s drums come pounding in and the band gets epic on your ears, for maximum emotional uplift. First single Dig takes the hardcore dissonance and puts it behind a wall of big drums, guitar fills and cavernous vocals. Bent Nail is the most rhythmically propulsive song on the album, leading you to bang your head to the fast beat and distorted dual guitars.
The final third will have you blissed out at the beautiful noise Nothing blasts into the air. Somersault‘s spacious mix helps showcase the dramatic guitar work of Palermo and Brandon Setta. The song starts out all shimmery, a twangy guitar melody and drums kick in, Kimball sets his sticks to cymbals and the song slowly builds to a blistering climax, Palermo and Setta stomping on their pedals and pulling out some powerful chords to make your ears ring and your soul sing. B&E goes all out in the thrash department, beginning in a pleasant mid-tempo, their wall of sound getting knocked down to an anxiously mellow segment reminiscent of Pink Floyd‘s Animals album before tearing into their instruments for a heart-wrenching finale that will leave you gasping for breath even as you’re reaching for the repeat button.
(by Bret Miller)