Release Date: Mar 4, 2014
Record label: Relapse Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Heavy Metal, Noise-Rock, Shoegaze
"If you don’t enjoy ‘Guilty Of Everything’, there’s nothing left for us to offer you." The Holy Grail for any band is to create a sound that both defines you, but in itself is indefinable. For Philadelphia-based Nothing, they’ve pretty much nailed it on their first attempt. ‘Guilty Of Everything’ is a swirling, 40-minute blast of emotion, fuzzy guitars, ethereal vocals that along the way soak up elements of ’90s shoegaze and alt-rock like My Bloody Valentine and Smashing Pumpkins, but stays current by also giving nods to the post-Brand New indie rock sound.
Nothing is one of those bands that metal fans would probably be pissed at for floating around their venues if not for the dark, blustery post—metal sound they neatly craft. It's a craft that battens down the hatches and manages to swim with the loud, heavy yet never aggressive acts like Alcest and to a lesser extent, Deafheaven. They have one of the most intriguing musical narratives around.
Not a week goes by without an album release or song premiere from a fresh-faced band described by publicists and bloggers in comparison with some inactive or recently reunited ‘90s alt act they most resemble. So evident is the impairment—or, less kindly, the failure—of modern rock music that contemporary artists flop around in the swingin’ sounds of yesteryear in the hopes of absorbing some of its spent mojo. Real or imagined, emo revivals and shoegaze surges inevitably cast bitterly cold daylight on just how much better we believe the originals did things in comparison with these millennial wannabes, stoking some arguably well-deserved resentment.
Lots of bands have picked up the shoegaze ball and run with it since the original bands flamed out in the early '90s. Not too many of them can say their guiding force spent time in prison for attempted murder or that their debut album was released by the resolutely metal label Relapse. Not too many of them ever released an album as good as Nothing have here, and 2014's Guilty of Everything is a truly impressive debut.
Good shoegaze never goes out of style, and Philly outfit Nothing seem to know it. On Guilty of Everything, the band's follow-up to their 2012 EP, Downward Years to Come, they've done their homework: towering distorted guitars, soaring falsettos and slamming, snare-heavy percussion evoke Slowdive's biggest moments, albeit with a little more passion. Though hardly metal, Nothing distinguish themselves from their shoegaze forebears by eschewing sparkling beauty in favour of downright heaviness.
Relapse Records is a metal label. You know that. I know that. I only bring it up because it’s going to frame a great deal of the discussion surrounding recent signee Nothing’s debut LP Guilty of Everything, which might be unusually heavy dream-pop, billowy alt-rock, or blustery shoegaze, but it is definitely not metal.
Nothing Guilty of Everything (Relapse) For an act this high on volume, Guilty of Everything betrays more interest in soothing than smashing. The Philly fourpiece's debut wraps crystalline melodies in a palliative blanket of fuzz and shoegazing psychedelia, but make no mistake: This ain't any dream-pop/black metal mélange called metalgaze. It's the real deal – eyes to the ground, tempos at a stroll, and the volume knob broken off.