Nothing: The Great Dismal (Relapse) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, November 26th, 2020  


The Great Dismal


Oct 30, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Philadelphia’s Nothing are one of these rare species in that their music somehow manages to traverse numerous boundaries and genres without ever fully aligning itself specifically to any particular one. The epitome of longevity, it probably explains why after a decade of making music together, every subsequent record is greeted with a sense of anticipation and rightly so. 2014’s debut Guilty of Everything was a breath of fresh air and each of its three predecessors has seen its creators take several left turns while upping the songwriting ante every time.

However, with The Great Dismal they’ve exceeded expectations. Written just prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and then recorded during lockdown, The Great Dismal sees Nothing reunited with Grant Yip, whose production helped elevate the band’s second album, Tired of Tomorrow, up many an end of year best of list after its release in the summer of 2016.  

The Great Dismal is the first record to feature new members Doyle Martin and Aaron Heard, who both joined in the interim period between 2018’s third LP Dance on the Blacktop and the run up to this one. The Great Dismal finds Dominic Palermo in fine voice while songs like “A Fabricated Life” and “Just a Story” take a more personal, and poignant trip through their creator’s psyche.  

Elsewhere, the heavier side of Nothing is displayed and when the sonics are pushed to the extreme, there’s no one better at this present moment in time. “Say Less” shoots for the stars before exploding gallantly while “Famine Asylum” and “In Blueberry Memories” elicit similar feelings to those emitted by Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins.  

There’s even a reverb heavy ode to Bernie Sanders (simply titled “Bernie Sanders”), which is quite appropriate for the times, while closing number “Ask the Rust” could soundtrack the apocalypse in a parallel universe.  

2020 just got louder and became all the better for it. (  

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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