Third album from New York shoegazers Nothing. Built on a hardcore foundation, the band have a bit more bite than you'd usually expect from the genre. Dance On The Blacktop celebrates the band's love for 90s anglophone guitar music so who better to produce it then John Agnello who's worked with Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr?
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Named after ‘nothing’, the theoretical concept invented by Stewart Lee, these folks are a bunch of void-watchers, enjoying a good vantage point on the blank dot of non-existence while feeling extremely big things about it. Also there was that time they swore at Slowdive on some online platform or another; we’re three records in and they’ve had quite the career. On music alone Nothing stand up as a band of great emotional verve, able to take their sludgier, more distorted elements out for a walk while the melodies coast in, given more nighttime air than an early XX record.
Nothing’s shoegaze is heavy, almost metallic, in sound: on “Baby Line Baby” it crashes down like a heavy weight, interrupting gorgeous passages of solitary guitar. They pause for a lovely millisecond or two of acoustic guitar before bringing it back in, its size and impact comparable to the kilos of riffage dropped onto the otherwise emo melody-making of Deftones’ ‘Saturday Night Wrist’. The juxtaposition here is perfect -- the songs always feel balanced, somehow, despite a constant struggle of stress and serenity.
On “Plastic Migraine” they mix the destitute guitar tunings of Low in with a antagonistic guitar crunch, the only thing keeping them in the same lane the clear, melancholy vocal hum overtop. It’s that lightness that makes the heavy, that everyday heft you have to carry. Mostly, it’s this way that Nothing do it best, but when they tip the balance in favour of dreaminess and soundscaping, they find a whole new way to be Nothing: listen to “Hail on Palace Pier” and hear their guitars riding out into a serene sunset. Maybe they’re ready to believe in something again.
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- Dance On The Blacktop by Nothing
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