Nothing - Dance On The Blacktop (Relapse Records) 2018
Absolutely freaking perfect- this is the best way to describe Dance on the Blacktop, the third album by Nothing, undoubtedly one of the most talented bands of the current decade.
If Guilty of Everything and Tired of Tomorrow already showcased their uncanny ability to create magnificent chapters of shoegaze/emo-inspired sonic beauty, their new studio effort sees that formula being perfected while new elements are added to keep it exciting. Working with producer John Agnello (The Breeders, Sonic Youth, among others) and with newly appointed bassist Aaron Heard, they managed to craft delicate, highly emotional songs where the wall of sound is just as intense as the lyrics rooted in the pain and sadness experienced by vocalist/guitarist Domenic Palermo, now possibly dealing with the early stages of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). Yet, Nothing make depression and anxiety sound poetic and turn emotional hell into pieces of awe-inspiring art, almost as if all the shit that life throws at them only fuels their creative juices.
However, while the songwriting shows a band at the top of their game, the clear, polished (without going overboard) production also emphasizes the greatness of each song, making an already fantastic listening experience even better. This is their best record so far, the peak of a short but brilliant artistic existence marked by a constant tendency to evolve.
When all is said and done, we will look at their albums as classics of our generation, and Nothing as one of the most ambitious, consistent and amazing bands of their time. Dance on the Blacktop truly is a modern-day masterpiece, and hopefully not the last one we get from these guys.