Skip to main content
Loading...

Featured Post

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

Flipboard

Flipboard

Nothing - Dance on the Blacktop Music Album Reviews

On their third album, the Philadelphia shoegaze band’s tried-and-true arrangements are not terribly original, but they are deeply felt.

Dream pop and shoegaze, with their diffuse atmospheres and negative space, invite us to fill in the blanks with our own baggage. The Philadelphia band Nothing do a lot of that filling-in for us—these shoegazers do not look down; they stare you in the eye. It can feel suspect, imposing too much of Nothing’s bleak history onto the blank canvas. But when the saga involves incarceration, pharmaceutical sadist Martin Shkreli, and permanent brain damage—as it does for Nothing frontman Domenic Palermo, who was jumped outside a show in Oakland in 2015 and barely survived—the narrative becomes knotted inextricably into the gentle music. Nothing’s dismal backstory both colors in their sound and accounts for its sadness, its heaviness, its palliative effect. A reputable magazine recently called Nothing “the world’s unluckiest band,” and a journalist once began an interview with the apt question: “Do you feel cursed?” If there’s a hex on Nothing, they embrace it. “I’m living in a dream world,” Palermo sang on 2016’s “Nineteen Ninety Heaven.” “Life’s a nightmare.” That could be Nothing’s manifesto.

The title of Nothing’s third record, Dance on the Blacktop, is a phrase Palermo learned while serving two years in prison in the early 2000s (he stabbed someone in a brawl, claiming self-defense). It is slang for fighting, but Palermo adopts it to mean something like riding the inevitable chaos of existence with grace. Dance on the Blacktop tempers its self-defeatist lyrics with pummeling light, and while the songs here hew closer to billowing 1990s alt-rock than on previous records, there’s still an appealing minimalism to the sound. That might come from the band’s backgrounds in hardcore: Palermo was in Horror Show, on Deathwish; new bassist Aaron Heard also fronts the brutalist Jesus Piece; drummer Kyle Kimball was in the gothier Salvation.

Dance’s tried-and-true arrangements—simmering and erupting, despondent and ecstatic—are not terribly original, but they are deeply felt. “Zero Day” is a decently melancholy Smashing Pumpkins impression, as Palermo sings of “infinity, oblivion” and his “empty sky of everlasting misfortune.” “You Wind Me Up” recalls Dinosaur Jr.’s dry, drawling “Feel the Pain” to an extreme (John Agnello produced both) though its raw character distinguishes it: “We were sitting in the sun/Smoldering a love/The drugs were never strong enough.” There’s an uncomplicated, slackerish romanticism to most Nothing lyrics, as Palermo sings of faded souls and inscrutable stars. Amid the thundering swirl of “I Hate the Flowers,” Palermo is “shook outta heaven, fell into hell.”

The album contains some gorgeous, subtle shifts, almost micro-sized, as if feeling the world after a handful of edibles. With a disarmingly sweet vocal turn, the strummy dynamism of “Us/We/Are” oddly recalls Third Eye Blind’s Stephan Jenkins. “I know it sounds crazy/There’s static in my head/Everything red,” Palermo sings, likely reflecting on his brain trauma. “Blueline Baby” is the album’s highlight, exploding like green fireworks. Palermo wrote it, he says, “about a girl [he] knew who OD’d when she was 13,” and it is a work of pure pathos. On a deluxe edition of Dance, Nothing faithfully cover Grouper’s drone-folk mini-masterpiece “Heavy Water/I’d Rather Be Sleeping,” and if they learned something about the restorative qualities of music from it, “Blueline Baby” is proof.

The cover art for Dance on the Blacktop features a photograph of the New York author Chelsea Hodson in a blank mask, looking hyperreal and obscured at once. Listening to Nothing, I think of a line from her excellent recent essay collection, Tonight I’m Someone Else, which presents a similar mix of elegance and destruction: “How much can a body endure?” she writes. “Almost everything.” Dance on the Blacktop is music at the edge of Hodson’s “everything.” Its theme might be resolve, tenacity, or redemption itself—the sound of hitting rock bottom, looking up, and still catching a glimpse of beauty above.


View the original article here

Comments

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Loading...

Popular posts from this blog

Samsung Galaxy Buds Review

Samsung has introduced a new pair of wireless earbuds with various upgrades including wireless charging. Find out what we make of the Galaxy Buds in our full review.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy Buds?
The Galaxy Buds are solidly good wireless earbuds with comfortable design and reasonable sound quality for an affordable price.
Samsung has added some nice features here like Ambient Sound, but there are also cost cutting measures and iPhone owners will want to avoid considering these as an AirPods alternative.

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) Review

A mid-range phone with triple rear cameras is a rare thing, especially at under £300 but the Galaxy A7 isn't an instant winner. Find out why in our full review.
Should I Buy The Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)? The Galaxy A7 is a decent choice for a mid-range phone if you're looking to spend less than £300. Highlights include an excellent screen, nice design and cameras you'd wouldn't expect to find.
However, unless you're going to use the wide-angle lens a lot there are some strong rivals out there like the Moto G7 Plus and Honor Play.

Huawei Mate 20 X Review

The Huawei Mate 20 X is an obscenely large smartphone but it has many of the features of the Mate 20 Pro for less. Here’s our full review of the huge premium slab
Should I Buy The Huawei Mate 20 X?
With a bigger screen, bigger battery and smaller notch than the Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei Mate 20 X also has the same camera set up and adds a headphone jack. If you want the most screen possible, it might be for you. 
You lose the curved display, wireless charging, full water resistance and secure Face ID but for many that won’t matter if a huge display, outstanding camera and great performance are top of your list. If you want a normal size phone, get the Mate 20 Pro.

iHealth Core Review

This smart scale from iHealth offers detailed body composition measurements, from BMI to visceral fat rating. Find out what we think in our iHealth Core review.
Should I Buy The iHealth Core? We like the way that the Core and Lite scales interact with the other iHealth products, and the Core offers a bunch of useful metrics with which to monitor your health. Setup is easy and the app's graphs give a decent visual representation of your health-metric trends as you progress.

How To Send A Text Message Using Google Home

Google Home might tell you it can't send a text message, but we've found a way. Here's how to set up text messaging on Google Home.
Regardless of what it tells you, it is possible to send a text message via Google Home using the free app IFTTT, as we'll explain below.

Like Fan Page