Nothing – ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’

By Glen Bushell

To say that Nothing have a bleak story to tell would be understatement. Their 2014 debut, ‘Guilty Of Everything’, was a redemptive album that focused largely on vocalist Domenic Palermo’s incarceration for aggravated assault some years earlier. It received universal acclaim, topping several “Album Of The Year” list’s around the world. With that weight off of Palermo’s shoulders, and Nothing being heralded as the leaders of the alternative rock/shoegaze revival, things should have been plain sailing, right? Wrong.

In the wake of ‘Guilty Of Everything’, a series of events occurred which could have spelled the end for Nothing. From finding out that their former label, Collect Records, had ties to hedge fund manager/pharma-bro, Martin Shkreli, to Palermo suffering a vicious beating in Oakland, which has left him with constant back pain and mountain of medical bills, Nothing have not had it easy over the last couple years.

Rather than let it break them, Nothing have channelled this negativity directly into their new album, ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’. It has fuelled them to find beauty in the darkness, and while the title eludes to giving up, Nothing have brought to bear more emotion and honesty than ever before.

The most noticeable difference about ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ arrives the moment ‘Fever Queen’ pours out of the speakers. Despite being an ode to melancholy, the album’s dark narrative is shrouded in a much brighter, uplifting ambience. The major key guitar lines that provide the backbone for ‘Vertigo Flowers’ tale of anxiety, and the monothlic riffs that crash into one another on during ‘A.C.D (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder)’ make ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ a far more inviting album than its predecessor.

Whether it’s down to a more assured confidence, or their need to escape being labelled a shoegaze band, Nothing have done everything in their power to ensure ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ is distinguishable. Both Palermo, and fellow guitarist, Brandon Setta, have relied less on the walls of reverb and delay that permeated ‘Guilty Of Everything’; focusing more on expansive soundscapes and driving rhythms.

An appearance from Kiley Lotz of Petal – on the excellently titled ‘Nineteen Ninety Heaven’ – compliments the glassy-eyed haze of Palermo’s vocals being much higher in the mix, and the air-tight rhythm section of Nick Bassett and Kyle Kimball really flourish throughout the Radiohead worship of ‘Eaten By Worms’. They once joked in an interview that the duo were “The best rhythm section since the The Beatles or The Smiths”, and as tongue-in-cheek as that may have been, they are doing a fine job at reaching that echelon.

As ‘Our Plague’ gradually decays into a serene funnel, it bleeds into the album’s title track, which finds Nothing at their most exposed and fragile. While the majority of ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ is a rock record that is built to soar, the closing track is simply piano, vocals, and weeping strings. It provides a perfect summarisation of the album, and a window in the Palermo’s mind. “And I’m tired of tomorrow on the inside”, he subtly croons, echoing the disdain of the album’s title.

With their sophomore album, Nothing have overcome tragedy, shaken off any misinformed label’s, and proved their importance by creating the album of their career. ‘Tired Of Tomorrow’ gets under your skin, and takes you on an ethereal trip that you never want come down from.

GLEN BUSHELL

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