When I decided to review this album by the band Nothing More, I just figured it would be with the standard 12 track setlist and I’d get through it fine and dandy. Well, the day it came out and I saw the exact amount of songs it actually included almost talked me out of it. The only reason why I voted against myself is because I wanted to listen to it and not just hear the singles throughout the rest of the year and beginning of 2018 on the radio, so I figured I would suck it up and do the review no matter what!
The alternative metal band Nothing More has been creating music since 2004. The members are Johnny Hawkins, Mark Vollelunga, Daniel Oliver, and Ben Anderson. They had released two albums but they have been growing in popularity after the release of their hit “This Is The Time (Ballast)” in 2014 and I really began to keep an eye out for their newer stuff but I haven’t actually listened to the other albums. This is my first one!
Everybody knows how much I like little introductions or skits as they’ve been called in the past. Several artists and bands put them in front of a song or batch of songs to start a certain theme. Swedish singer Tove Lo has done this before, especially on her first record “Queen Of The Clouds” so I find it very interesting whenever metal and rock bands do the same thing, it kind of gives the album a different edge to it. So we’re starting with the first intro track called, “Ambition, Destruction” which sounds interesting doesn’t it? It’s very static-y and you can hear a faint scream sort of build before it stops and the actual first song starts and this is “Do You Really Want It?” and I really like the lyrics and meaning of it. It’s true, if we really want to change something we have to do something about it. It has a great sound, very heavy and could be a great workout song! Second track is “Convict, Divide” and you can hear an older men speaking and it sounds like an old tape of a lecture. After we begin the second song “Let ’em Burn” and it has the same tone of the skit playing before, the beat itself is pretty tame despite the very rushed vibe you have before the choruses, but I like it.
Third song is “Ripping Me Apart” and this has a true rock and roll feel to it in the beginning, I loved the gritty guitar strumming through my headphones. It’s nothing but that and Johnny’s vocals in the first parts of the verse before it breaks and the rest of the band joins in, this continues for the second verse as well! I like it, it’s smooth and explosive at the same time! I think it could be one of my favorites! And next is “Don’t Stop” a song that came out with another track in early June, I don’t think this one has been played as much as the other but I like it just as much! I like the electronica vibe it gives off in the beginning, very much an alternative angle that I love a lot! I also like hearing the bass guitar, sometimes it can be hard to spot in the fast paced songs that we all love so it’s nice to clearly hear it every once in a while! “Funny Little Creatures” is just a funny thing to say out loud, but when I first saw it I had figured out the meaning of it. It’s playing on the idea of our demons and running away from them or so I got when listening to it. I like the lightness of the sound, it’s not too chaotic but it spiral feeling you get while you listen to it. It’s good!
Now we’re back on the skit train with “React, Respond” and again, you hear this static-y voice and this old man is back. This is actually longer than the previous ones, so you have the lecturer and the soft music in the background. It’s kind of interesting to hear this piece together. Once it’s over, you have the next song and it’s called “The Great Divorce” and again, it has a great alternative sound that I feel like I haven’t heard much in this album. It’s soft like the skit, but not as quiet. Surprisingly, I go back and forth whether I like it, because I just like the softer moments and wish it was like that throughout. I really like the section of the bridge, it’s very echo-y and almost dreamlike, it does build in tempo but it’s not annoying. So I’m pretty conflicted by it really. Next is “Still In Love” which sounds about right, considering titles alone. This also has a calming beginning, like you’re drifting out in the sky. I have the weirdest metaphors sometimes! I like this though, it’s very sweet. It has a nice sound, mellow and almost pop-rock. How many people will freak out that I just said that?
We have another skit called, “Alone, Together” and after the last one I’m glad it has a softer tone. I like the melancholy sound of the orchestra in the background, but considering what is after it is the perfect balance. We have “Go To War” now and it has been everybody’s new favorite (mine included!) and it’s heavy and commending. Ahh, it’s the perfect rock song honestly! Next is “Just Say When” and it’s surprisingly a ballad. You have the acoustic guitar and string sections coming in clear as day and it’s actually very pretty; totally not what I was expecting to hear after such a banger of a song before. We move on to “Accept, Disconnect” and we have another beautiful guitar, just strumming by itself and I just liked the “alone-ness” vibe you have of Mark but then towards the end you have that same lecturer speaking but it’s faint and goes in and out, before the next track starts up. “Who We Are” has become another favorite of mine. The moment this song was put up on Spotify, I haven’t stopped listening to it. I like the meaning of it a little more, I think it’s the perfect finish to all of these skits.
We’re on the last ones, starting with “Tunnels” and this was another shocker as it’s soft but the tempo has more of a pop-rock feel to it. Honestly, I didn’t really like it. I just didn’t mesh well with it like I figured I would because it’s a little bit boring. Next is our last skit of the album, called “End; Begin” and I thought seemed interesting in a way, because this could also be a metaphor for something else entirely, but I could be playing into the title a little bit. It has the previous song faintly turning into a game boy tune. Now that I think about it, that sounds appropriate for this type of thing but again we have that same dude speaking. I’d love to know if I’m right and it’s Sigmund Frued but I could be wrong. Anyways, the last song is “Fadein, Fadeout” and it’s the longest song out of the whole thing, over six minutes long. It’s pretty tame, not at all like I figured, but then again I actually like the lyrics. What is with me today? The words saved it I think; honestly though it is good all around so I don’t think it needed saving.
This album was very good. I liked the stories in the lyrics themselves. I was very surprised but also very proud of myself for getting through the entire album. I really committed to it, but honestly I just wanted to hear what the next one sounded and that actually helps the reviewing process! I definitely don’t want to do another deluxe like album again, but if they are as good as this, I might make an exception!
What do you think of Nothing More’s new album “The Stories We Tell Ourselves”? Do you have any favorite songs? Let me know!
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