hello folks! our weekly review is Dance On the Blacktop, the 2018 record from Nothing. let’s check it out –

Zero Day, the opener, is a pretty bleak track – the guitars hang over the vocal track like heavy clouds, and beneath them the lyrics suggest a dark place to be in. Blue Line Baby is solid – a real sad story. You Wind Me Up is a bit more upbeat, for a song about a more codependent type of relationship. Plastic Migraine has some weight to it – interesting vibes on this one. Us/We/Are feels grungier to me. a real haze of accidental self-destruction on this one. Hail on Palace Pier has an interesting tenderness to it, in a celebration of a community of necessity. I Hate the Flowers has an incredibly funny name, contextually, in that its almost comically bitter. the track’s lyrics paint a much more grounded misanthropic perspective, and it leaves the track title in a funny place. Carpenter’s Son is the longest track on the record and forms an interesting core – the title is referential to jesus, but reading some of the band’s comments is also autobiographical, and speaks to songwriter Dominic Polermo’s strained relationship with both his father and religion. the song feels the most straightforwardly depressed – theres an emptiness and a dullness that pervades the track lyrically and musically, and it tries to explore that in a very interesting way. (Hope) Is Just Another Word With a Hole In It ends the record on a note of loss.

faves –
dislikes –

i cant say ive listened to much shoegaze or related genres – i didnt fully know what to expect going in, and i dont know if that made the experience more or less challenging for me, haha. i found myself having a difficult time talking specifically about the tracks on the record, as musically theyre a really tight package, and while lyrically each song is distinct the cummulative effect is dour, heavy, and depressing. and i mean that in the same way that the walls of guitars function here – they weigh the listening experience down in a particular and narratively intentional way.

the thing i think that most didnt help my experience is that i listened to this record mostly around a vacation, and a celebratory anniversary vacation at that. this record appears to document a period of depression and isolation, and i think i was definitely not in the headspace to engage with that directly, especially given that musically, this really wasnt a huge hit for me.

definitely one i will have to revisit in the future and see with a different perspective.

Dance On the Blacktop – 4/10

for the next Weekly Album Review, i’ll be taking a look at Selected Ambient Works: 85 -92, from Aphex Twin! i’ll be back on Friday, May 10th, with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)