Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Album Review: Nothing - Dancing on the Blacktop

Dancing on the Blacktop
*** out of *****

The Philadelphia based Nothing's third album, Dancing on the Blacktop is filled of crunchy riffs, distorted guitars and inward searching lyrics that deal with literal pains of the brain.

The dreamy shoegaze mixed with alternative rock sound starts from the first track as "Zero Day" pairs the breathy vocals of Domenic Palermo with layers of feedback and straight ahead rhythms. Palmero has been recently been diagnosed with CTE after a brutal attack that almost killed him in 2015 and his lyrics deal with a possible bleak personal future while taking in the moment.

Sleeping all day, stealing kisses and the wonders of nature are sung about on the flowing "Blue Line Baby" which is an early highlight with fuzz/electric/acoustic guitars all added to the mix. "You Wind Me Up" pulls a mellower Dinosaur Jr. vibe to the forefront without the fiery solo work, but more melody while "Us/We/Are" puts a bit of crunch around Pablo Honey era Radiohead sounds. "Hail on Palace Pier" is a good showcase for the drum work and

The slow "Plastic Migraine" addresses Palermo's head issues directly but also drags as does "I Hate the Flowers". Both tracks are intentionally plodding with wallowing in the pain central themes, also "I Hate the Flowers" rumbles fairly well. Produced by John Agnello the group is in capable rock hands and their sound pleasantly fuzzes up fairly standard arraignments to very pretty heights combating the trauma in the lyrics.

Nothing's Dancing on the Blacktop is palpable for fans whose noiserock taste doesn't go much more angular than Sliversun Pickups and Gish era Smashing Pumpkins; Sunday morning shiny pop shoegaze with a side of bleakness in the lyrics. 
Support the band, buy the album from bandcamp and peep some video:

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