Album Review: Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen by Dignan Porch
Fairly Good, Based on 6 Critics
AllMusic - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Dignan Porch tiptoe a few steps farther out of the bedroom on Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen, their first album as a full-fledged band. Building on the Deluded EP, the group has cleaned up their sound significantly since 2010's Tendrils -- which was largely the work of frontman Joe Walsh -- but they're still far from slick: as they channel '90s lo-fi via '80s indie-pop and '60s psychedelia, Walsh's wavering vocals are still often buried under layers of fuzz and static, and he and his brother Sam's guitars jangle and swirl, leaving lysergic traces around the edges of their songs. However, Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen finds the band expanding the borders of its sound and songs; some approach or pass the five-minute mark, more than twice the length of most of Dignan Porch's previous tracks.
Some thoughts while listening to Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen: I: Bedroom Bedroom recordings of one person imitating a full band kind of carry the subconscious notion of “wouldn’t it be cool if this were done with a real full band?” This being the second Dignan Porch album, it’s the first not done entirely by Joe Walsh (of the UK; not that Joe Walsh). Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen captures a group of people playing together, and it’s a good indication that Dignan Porch isn’t stuck on the idea of “what got you there will keep you there. ” Even outside of the bedroom, Nothing Bad is still somewhat stuck in the bedroom: it’s the motive/mood of the act of the bedroom as listening space, the youth ideal, of which the bedroom is the center of the universe.
Here's the elevator pitch for Dignan Porch: Did you like indie rock in the 1990s? Great, they do too. Enjoy. Because you can name the first 10 bands off the dome that fit into your idea of what "indie rock in the 90s" meant, and something on Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen will probably sound like each one of them. But they can't exactly be pegged as 90s revivalism, because that term implies not just worship, but a kind of evangelical zeal that Dignan Porch lack.
Once upon a time, Joe Wash recorded Tendrils, a bedroom pop album under the Dignan Porch moniker. Two years later, Dignan Porch is back with Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen, but this sophomore album is actually the first recorded as a band. Hailing from South London, the now-quintet is still keeping it DIY, the disc having been recorded live on reel-to-reel with scarce overdubbing, hearkening back to the college rock likes of Dinosaur Jr.
South London’s Dignan Porch decided not too long ago that it should go from one member to five. After recording the debut Tendrils alone, vocalist Joe Walsh felt it was time to bring his brother Sam and a few close friends into the mix. While the defining qualities of Tendrils’ bedroom dream-pop remain, this time Walsh has a crew, and they’re getting a little more optimistic.
London based foursome Dignan Porch may be making spurious claims with their title of their second album – Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen – but this doesn’t mean such startling optimism is misplaced. Originally a vehicle for frontman Joe Walsh’s muse, their first release as a full band is a shimmering, occasionally sharp, psych-pop exercise in lo-fi. While the latter aspect ensures that the album sporadically sounds as if it were recorded in a sock, Walsh and co.