Nothing’s Transcendent Bleakness

At Lee’s Palace, NOTHING’s music erupts; it doesn’t wait to be asked, and yet it’s the antidote to what ails us and what still feels hopeless tomorrow. Because there is always a new strain, a pop musical pandemic spreading like the one we are exposed to right now. Once in a great while, once in a generation, music may upend the balance and let authenticity, rage, grief, and pure, uncut art blast through to the masses. This time is here and now. There is nowhere to go from here. Pop music’s stars with their dead eyes are more than ever, cynical, manufactured monsters. There’s no fun in pop left: it’s fascism, it’s death. It’s child abuse. Kids need to hear those minor keys and feel the vibrations from the floor of the rock club and be present. Luckily for us, in plain view of the suits, a generation of kids with moms who listened to college radio to get through the longest nights have picked up the guitars and have the sly, innate talent to B & E this rigged musical game.

Only once every few years, something comes along that vibrates the body at a primal level with the feeling of imminent danger one minute, and the flicker of impossible to believe happiness the next minute. Impossibly, this music understands you, speaks to you, slaps you in the face; turns things cinematic for a little while in your little apartment, in your little head, in your little life. For us, love’s gotta be like that: something that has those perfect layered harmonies, that revels in its human fragility, a voice or an instrument that has risen because of need and will, not because they heard they should be up on stage all their life. Maybe, sometimes, like the greatest the game has ever known, too many lost to us now, because they heard no encouragement at all. Maybe they heard nothing, except how to somehow survive, just like they did as kids. Like too many of us kids. Music like this comes from outsiders, from the self-made, from nihilists who are really brokenhearted romantics.

It spills from somewhere tough and genuinely rough, whether the poorest parts of so many American towns, The Ramones’ gritty world view of the Five Boroughs; the decaying English city so far north of the center that London cab drivers stop and ask you why you’d ever want to go there, a place the rags call “STAB CITY”, a place that feels as homey & safe as your own misunderstood rough one. Great music comes screaming out of rainy, starkly beautiful drug-addled hubs that have hidden depths of so many scarred, beautiful souls. It comes, too, from normal looking families that are secret battlegrounds for a hundred different private family reasons.

When things are dark, we each have our own private darkness. Yet, the dark nothingness is today’s shared cultural touchstone: we’ve all been sad and anxious for a really long time. It’s dark out here in the anti-social media world. Every click, every feed, contains semi-random snapshots that hold potential to delight, astound, cause a belly laugh, anger, disgust, repulse. Baby animals; kids saying the darndest things; Mommy making a Vine instead of reacting humanely to a child’s embarrassment, shame or pain; disgraceful news media showing ISIS pictures before we can agree to look; people who are shamefully wealthy and famous for nothing at all any good. But dat ass… These things all scroll by as if they are all one neutral thing, while we wonder why we can’t sleep anymore.

Music fans are either old enough to remember that new music was an event and trips to the record store a sacred ritual,  or were were born just in time to miss all that; when the last great true organic moment happened in music. For a while, the game board was smashed and 90’s Alternative music ruled, only to have it die too young, leaving a gaping shotgun hole and shoved off screen before the body was even cold, in time for the widow’s makeover for Hollywood, when punk died again and capped its teeth, to our horror. In the void left by Kurt, oppuetunistic wolves chomped down on the scraps and chaos, opening the door to worse, pop music than ever before. Hole’s kinderwhore and the Riot Grrrls, too, were gone and Britney’s glossy porn schoolgirl was the shape the world’s grief took.

But music, even then, was not yet devalued, compressed and made only to be shoved into our ear holes, enjoyed alone on our phones, stolen from digital space, an ineffective tool to survive the daily grind. In the last great Alternative wave of the 90’s, the idea that all the record stores, most of the dive bars, rock clubs and their peripheries- the shared public cigarettes at the side doors of these spaces in all the cities would disappear because of file compression technology was still dystopian Science Fiction. Its become our dull reality. It needs to be burned down. Internet and social media channels are almost all we have. Likes and shares are really less than nothing and invite both indifferent pats on the head and offer a whistling void of indifference if we don’t share a hive mind or have a cute kid or kitten to flaunt, but they’re what we have-and for now, but not forever, have replaced the real tour posters that used to flourish in a city before we were told to see them as wasted dead trees and knew them instead, as necessary, vital fuel, art actually worth buying and stealing and the only news that mattered to us in the street.

Nothing, in May 2014, were unknown to us, and this magazine did not yet exist (was just a title floating on a webpage with a couple of disjointed articles and photos). Dave was shooting a late night showcase for CMW (Canadian Music Week) and was there to see another band. CMW is a really mixed bag and tries every last nerve for devoted fans, naturally overstuffed with all the windbags of the jaded local & visiting media, who are there to gossip and bitch like old women, loudly, arms folded, in small venues while indie musicians work before a wall of indifference.  Bands gig at insane times like 3 a.m. or worse, 2 p.m. Waiting for the headliner, Dave’s expectations were upended with this strange combination of rough looking indie dudes in Depeche Mode t-shirts with Morrissey tattoos. As the wall of noise hit him, he turned, gobsmacked, to a couple of Ride or Die fans who were freaking the fuck out, up from Philly. “They’re Nothing. They’re from Philly!” And that was it, the week was over, the night was over, the schedule was over. It was the moment a photographer who became that to pursue his drug of choice, music, found The One.

NOTHING’s music, with its roots in hardcore, authentic music love and natural, raw talent, makes for a tight and exciting live show that infuses the rock club with stadium-sized energy. It knows just when to quit, leaving you wanting another hit. It hooks the listener who knows what it means to be Guilty of Everything and Who is Tired of Tomorrow. This music acknowledges it all, brings it out into the light, and transcends all of that ugly. It comes from dark places and hits us where we live. It takes the bleakness of now and makes it tolerable, even beautiful.

Real rock critics in the old days and biblical power of print could love wildly as well as pan mercilessly, but wielded their power with a deep, uncorruptable knowledge and argument for why they were doing either thing. The media is dead. Everyone’s a rock critic now. So be one. Buy into the Alternative bands you love. Spread the word. Ignore the pop vacuum, even the easy joke. Screw ironic detachment. Break something. Start a riot. Remember what it was the first time you heard The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Cure, Nirvana, or Slowdive. NOTHING in 2015 is transcendent, a light flickering in its own darkness. It’s a long awaited answer to Jane’s Addiction when Summertime Fucking Rolled; the The Cure who’ve always remade genre to their own orbit and are still as dark and rich as your best ever dream despite their subversive pop hits, who bent the world.  Nothing’s music, across two albums now, still new, you can still say you were there, is an illegal fire, an uncontrolled burn to fight our endless winter chill.

Just listen.

Jacqueline Howell

Guilty of Everything by Nothing

Nothing is a band for introverts; they make music that’s best for headphones – for muting all the cars and people, and just watching the rush of life silently go by like leaves washing down a stream. For years the Alt-Rock genre was led by pioneers like Sonic Youth, Pixies, and Dinosaur Jr. To the savvy listener, Nothing sounds like the next wave of leaders for the new Alt-Rock. Nothing is paving the way forward, a renaissance of noise, of fuzz, of pure awesome. The 2014 album Guilty of Everything builds tension through its slow, climactic builds. This music is an adrenaline shot right to the soul; it can lift the bags from under the eyes, and palpitate the heart as effectively as a few shots of espresso.

The hardcore punk-rock influence of Nothing is evident in the wall of noise approach of the guitars, it’s heavy, even daunting to the listener – but the melodies are sad, lonely, infectious. Dream-pop infused with punk is never a bad thing. The vocal delivery on this album is like the soul boiling over. If the guitar, drums and bass of Nothing are the chaos and frustration of life, then the vocals are the soul, the human spirit lifting off to transcend everything else. And it only just makes it out – the vocals barely rise above the noise, just loud enough to deliver the corresponding melody and maybe a few coherent words now and again. It’s beautiful stuff, and with such a delivery track after track, “Guilty of Everything” becomes one endless delivery of pathos.

 

Bent Nail

Bent Nail is a Sebadoh inspired track that blisters with an old school melodic punk energy. The guitars are furious and fuzzy, before opening up into a lush, even fuzzier, power-chord laden, climactic and ambient piece of shoegaze. This track, rather, this band, is what nowadays would be called a retro call-back to a time when alternative rock was fresh, dangerous, and even scary – when it was just a bunch of long haired kids wailing into a mic.

Endlessly

Endlessly picks up where Bent Nail left off. The guitars on this track scream. They scream like a dying, primordial beast gasping for one last breath. Images of the urban landscape bubble up from the melodies, but enclosed in dank mist; a swamp of modernity, where we’re all, in a way, stuck. Endlessly sounds like what it would be like hurled through time, and then looking back, a million years from now, onto our extinct civilization.

Get Well

Get Well is my favorite track on the album. Pure punk energy, it winds up the body like a coil spring. I can feel this track in my muscles, in my eyeballs. I haven’t heard anything with such raw energy since the Pixies. It explodes with simple melodies and instrumentation, but this is a good thing. It’s at the tail end of a couple tracks that are slow-building, emotional pieces of musical poetry. Get Well is the catharsis of Guilty of Everything.

We also wrote about Nothing’s live show and more on the album Guilty of Everything here. We have another photo gallery from Nothing’s recent tour stop in Toronto here. NOTHING is on a U.S. tour from May to June 2015; they also will play Montreal’s OSHEAGA Music Fest. Get more info at the band’s official Facebook page.

Cory Zydyk is a Vancouver-based writer who is a frequent contributor to Step on magazine and writes on both music and film. Recently Cory reviewed Headlights by The River and the Road.

Nothing Can Save Us

“There’s no such thing as old or new,” sang a resigned Nigel Benjamin on “Career”, Mott’s 1976 hymn to blank horizons, “Cuz everything’s been said and done before.” It was a sorry indictment of the music scene from one of the country’s most inventive bands, now at the end of the road. An impasse had been reached; there was no way forward, no tomorrow. To carry on in the same old way was meaningless and empty; all that was left was to grow old and fade. Little did Benjamin know that a new generation was already on the rise, fueled by the energy, anger and fearlessness of youth. If history, tradition, received wisdom and musicality were barriers to progress, then they would be smashed apart and the broken shards trampled on with contempt. Odd fragments would be stuck together in a random order to create something different. The past would be rebuilt into a future with no rules, no inhibitions and no apologies. The most inventive and bravest era in musical history had begun.

Punk fractured the music industry and pried its deathly grip from the throat of creativity. Though the corporations were quick to reassert their hold on commercial pop, independent labels now provided a fertile breeding ground for those with scant regard for fame and success but a burning desire to express themselves in new and vital ways. The post-punk scene was a broken limb, loosely connected to the whole but hanging free, impossible to control and swaying in unpredictable directions. It could be painful, it could be shambolic, it could be bleak, but it could also be stunningly beautiful. In 1983, Cocteau Twins, at the height of their creative powers, released an album and EP of quite uplifting grandeur. The common track on the pair was “Sugar Hiccup”, a kaleidoscopic waltz that showered the listener in patterns of dazzling light as it spun them around the room. One guitar laid down a shimmering backdrop of the gentlest distortion, while another chimed gorgeously in front. A drum machine hurried the dance along, while Liz Fraser’s voice crushed you into a helpless, simpering wreck. There wasn’t the faintest clue as to what she was singing about; this music was about the textures of sound, the voice an instrument that gave the song both resonance and depth.

On playing NOTHING’s Guilty of Everything some thirty years later, it was a shock to hear “Sugar Hiccup” pouring out of the speakers. Yet this was that song drained of colour, devoid of light, injected with iron and titled “Endlessly”. Opening to a deliberately familiar, low-key guitar introduction, the background guitar scrapes rather than soothes, while the chiming guitar is now a siren, bursting in on the second line of each verse and soaring in pitch and waywardness until it reaches dangerous heights. This creates a void that is quickly filled, giving the song a reeling immensity. Its epic scope turns your focus to the vocals, as passionless and smooth as they are dark, “Stains on the sheets, childhood blood that would soak through our jeans”. It paints a terrifying picture with a longing for an endless release that never comes, “Heavy. The world’s so heavy. Carry…” Desperate and unremitting. There are no machines here, but purposeful and grounded drumming that keeps you rooted in reality. This is no skip through a magical wonderland, but a dance of the doomed. And where Cocteau Twins end their song with a little flourish that seems to say, “Beat that”, Nothing’s song ends with its own personal beating, a measured assault of the drums.

NOTHING build upon the past rather than stand in awe of it, brilliantly fusing their hardcore roots with other underground sounds of the last thirty years. It takes skill and imagination to mess with the best and still emerge with such potent results, but they manage it with a detached assurance, dragging grace from darkness and creating monochrome vistas that entice but reject all attempts at empathy. And it’s glorious.

In an interview with Noisey, Dominic “Nicky” Palermo, described the essential cocktail of music he ingested as a kid that shaped his musical influences:

“I grew up in a single parent home and my brother and my sister were out of the house. We kind of lived in a shitty neighbourhood, so I was shook and I think my mom was also shook. I would just sleep in her room all the time, and she would always listen to college radio and Cocteau Twins records, Siouxsie, all that stuff. And that used to scare the hell out of me because they had some creepy songs. Even the Cure, like Pornography, would terrify me. But I wound up knowing the songs and learning them. But it’s really weird music for a seven-year-old to like. My brother, though, was feeding me punk rock and hardcore, so I got a little bit of everything.”

A musician who, at seven years old, was “shook” and listened late at night to the early, great, darkest Cure, Pornography no less, and Cocteau Twins with a cool mom, then Punk and Hardcore, with his brother, is exactly what the world needs right now. Urgently.

All these ingredients of the perfect cocktail are there. A Molotov cocktail.

NOTHING’s Guilty of Everything combines lush vocal melody with a massive wall of instrumentation that reminds us how post-rock sensibilities provide a beautiful mix of grit and calm. Straight from the single “Dig,” you recognize the 90’s alt-rock Smashing Pumpkins/Deftones vibe with a blend of layered clean and distorted guitars in a driving pulse that places you under the lights of a crowded show. Tracks like “Somersault” bring a laid back groove with soaring guitar melodies to crashing drums that breathe gracefully. Each track compliments the last in providing this blend of pumping rock and big emotion. There is a certain appeal to this approach that definitely translates to the stage, and NOTHING provides this sound for listeners who enjoy the light melancholic vibe within crunchy, fuzzy guitars and pounding rhythms. 

Stripped back and genuine in sound, NOTHING provides a solid debut LP of headbangers and introspective moments of chilled out ambience that takes you away from the cluster of overly produced and generic rock music that frequents most popular media. The album consistently barrages the listener with dynamic louds and softs in a soundscape that strengthens the overall experience of an album and performance. 2.

Listen to all nine tracks of Guilty of Everything, a truly great debut LP/CD, like the rare and not always appreciated great debut records that came before it. Listen to it again: it’s greater than so many debut LPs that came before it. Released in March 2014, the band has been touring steadily in support of the album and generating solid buzz everywhere they land.

“Although they are often pegged as a post-shoegaze band, NOTHING’s live performance abandons the genre’s namesake, favouring a vigorous, animated stage presence over the passive stance contemporaries are known for. This is in part due to the band’s noisy, gritty live sound coming across as more powerful than their recordings. The layers of reverb that add a delicate feel to their recorded vocals are foregone in a live setting, and more dissonant elements amongst the instrumentals are introduced.” Exclaim review of Lee’s Palace show, Toronto March 21, 2015.

At Lee’s Palace, NOTHING’s music erupts; it doesn’t wait to be asked, and yet it’s the antidote to what ails society. Because there is always a new strain, a pop musical pandemic spreading like the one we are exposed to right now. Once in a great while, once in a generation, music may upend the balance and let authenticity, rage, grief, and pure, uncut art blast through to the masses. This time is here and now. There is nowhere to go from here. Pop music’s stars with their dead eyes are more than ever, cynical, manufactured, monsters. There’s no fun in pop left: it’s fascism, it’s death. It’s child abuse. Kids need to hear those minor keys and feel the vibrations from the floor of the rock club and be present. Luckily for us, in plain view of the suits, a generation of kids with moms who listened to college radio to get through the longest nights have picked up the guitars and have the sly, innate talent to B & E this rigged musical game.

Only once every few years, something comes along that vibrates the body at a primal level with the feeling of imminent danger one minute, and the flicker of impossible to believe happiness, of empathy, the next minute. Impossibly, this music understands you, speaks to you, slaps you in the face; turns things cinematic for a little while in your little apartment, in your little head, in your little life. For us, love’s gotta be like that: something that has those perfect layered harmonies, that revels in its human fragility, a voice or an instrument that has risen because of need and will, not because they heard they should be up on stage all their life. Maybe because they heard no encouragement all their lives. Maybe they heard nothing, except how to somehow survive, just like they did as kids. Like too many of us kids. Music like this comes from outsiders, from the self-made, from nihilists who are really brokenhearted romantics.

It spills from somewhere tough and genuinely rough, whether the poorest parts of so many American towns, The Ramones’ gritty world view of the Five Boroughs; the decaying English city so far north of the center that London cab drivers stop and ask you why you’d ever want to go there, a place the rags call “STAB CITY” (yet you go there, alone, to see your chosen history, the home of all the musical Gods of Manchester). Great music comes screaming out of rainy, starkly beautiful drug-addled hubs that have hidden depths of so many scarred, beautiful souls. It comes, too, from normal looking families that are secret battlegrounds for a hundred different private family reasons.

When things are dark, we each have our own private darkness. Yet, the dark nothingness is today’s shared cultural touchstone: we’ve all been sad for a really long time. It’s dark out here in the anti-social media world. Every click, every feed, contains semi-random snapshots that hold potential to delight, astound, cause a belly laugh, anger, disgust, repulse. Baby animals; kids saying the darndest things; Mommy taking a picture for Facebook instead of reacting humanely to a child’s embarrassment, shame or pain; disgraceful news media showing ISIS pictures before we can agree to look; people who are shamefully wealthy and famous for nothing at all any good. These things all scroll by as if they are all one neutral thing, while we wonder why we can’t sleep.

Music fans are either old enough to remember that new music was an event and trips to the record store a sacred ritual,  or were were born just in time to miss all that; when the last great true organic moment happened in music. For a while, the game board was smashed and 90’s Alternative music ruled, only to have it die too young, leaving a gaping shotgun hole and shoved off screen before the body was even cold, opening the door to worse pop music than ever before. But music, even then, was not yet devalued, compressed and shoved in our ear holes, alone from a tiny machine, a tool to survive the daily grind. In the last great Alternative wave of the 90’s, the idea that all the record stores, most of the dive bars, rock clubs and the shared public cigarettes in all the cities would disappear because of file compression technology was pure dystopian Science Fiction. Its become our dull reality. Internet and social media channels are what we largely have outside of the concert hall and the rock club. Likes and shares are really nothing, but they’re what we have- they’ve replaced the real tour posters that used to flourish in a city before we were told to see them as wasted dead trees and knew them as necessary, vital, and the only news that mattered to us in the street.

Real rock critics in the old days could love wildly as well as pan mercilessly, but wielded their power with a deep, uncorruptable knowledge of why they were doing either thing. The media is dead. Everyone’s a rock critic now. So be one. Buy into the Alternative bands you love. Spread the word. Ignore the pop vacuum, even the easy joke. Screw ironic detachment. Break something. Start a riot. Remember what it was the first time you heard The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Cure, Nirvana, or Slowdive. NOTHING in 2015 is transcendent, a light flickering in its own darkness. It’s a long awaited answer to Jane’s Addiction when Summertime Fucking Rolled; it’s an illegal fire, an uncontrolled burn to fight our endless winter chill.

NOTHING’s music, with its roots in hardcore, authentic musical knowledge and natural talent, makes for a tight and exciting live show that infuses the rock club with stadium-sized energy. It knows just when to quit, leaving you wanting another hit. It hooks the listener who knows what it means to be Guilty of Everything. This music acknowledges it all, brings it out into the light, and transcends all of that ugly. It comes from dark places and hits us where we live. It takes the bleakness of now and makes it tolerable, even beautiful.

Just listen.

By Step On magazine co-founders and editors with:

1. Adam Hammond: head of Isolation in Sussex, once a small record label and now an independent music website; also a gig promoter.

and 2. Alex Gougeon: a Toronto-based freelance Writer, Musician and Videographer who loves everything Film and Music.

NOTHING is on a U.S. tour from May to June 2015; they also will play Montreal’s OSHEAGA Music Fest. Get more info at the band’s official Facebook page.

In Photos: Torche with Nothing at Lee’s Palace, Toronto

Miami’s Torche, on tour supporting their new album Restarter, and Philly’s Nothing stopped by legendary Lee’s Palace in Toronto on Saturday March 21st.  We snapped some pictures of the guys destroying the joint.  Read our full album and show review on NOTHING: Nothing can save us-as the B&E the future of Alternative music: HERE

Photos: Dave MacIntyre

(click image to see full size)

Restarter by Torche

Restarter by Torche
Restarter by Torche

By Cory Zydyk

There is some music that is meant to be danced to, with pop hooks that invade the mind and body like a virus. On the other hand, there is music that is meant to be an ethereal experience that inhabits another space and transports the listener to another dimension of being. With their fourth album Restarter, genre defying Miami based hard-rock band, Torche, suspend themselves between these two musical realms.

The first track, “Annihilation Affair”, starts the album with a statement. The guitars are extremely sludgy, as if Torche pulled them out of a Florida swamp and started recording. “Annihilation Affair” is one of the heaviest tracks on the album, with no time for fun and games, going from a sludgy power-chord laden march to a heavy, stoner induced ambience that sounds like the love child of Sigur Ros and Sleep.

Yet “Annihilation Affair” is definitely not an indication of what Restarter sounds like as a whole. The next track, “Bishop in Arms” is undoubtedly a punk rock influenced affair. Restarter switches on and off between short punk rock tracks that grind out in two and a half to three minutes, to heavier, doom or stoner metal influenced tracks. In this way, the album is always restarting itself, switching between the two worlds – the danceable to the brooding over and over again. Torche is known as a metal band, but it’s an unfair evaluation of their music. Sure, all the music is heavy and fuzzy to the extreme – but half of it is danceable and up-tempo in a way that most metal simply isn’t.

Photo:  Torche Official www.torchemusic.com
Photo: Torche Official http://www.torchemusic.com

The heavier tracks on this album like “Annihilation Affair”, “Undone”, “No Servants”, “Barrier Hammer”, and “Restarter” are definitely the strongest tracks on this album. They highlight what Torche does so well; defy convention. The songs in this category often subvert expectations – with heavy, repetitive guitar fuzz, but paired with melodic vocal lines that are reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age. The faster, punkier songs seem a bit too conventional in comparison – they remind me of my Warped Tour days – days that were filled with endless, sugary sweet pop-punk.

Even with this bipolar feel, the album doesn’t go overboard.  You won’t find any crazy, bluesy guitar lines here.  There are no tracks that sound like they were snuck in from a Black Keys album. There are no screaming vocals, just endless melodic broods. The album is a battle cry for those who love heavy rock. And I mean really heavy rock; no fluff, no gimmicks; just sweat, a mosh pit and head banging. Torche’s “Restarter” is infectious, it left me dazed, shell-shocked, and with ringing ears, but it also left me wanting more. Good thing there’s a replay button.

Torche will be in Toronto on March 21st at Lee’s Palace with Nothing and Wrong.  Step On Magazine will be there!

Lend An Ear: Shoegazers we’re listening to – Part 7

Shoegazers7By Dave MacIntyre

The ongoing search for the best of the best Shoegaze, Nugaze, Dream Pop and Noise bands continues with Step On Magazine’s 7th playlist of the series.  Some of these bands have been mentioned and highlighted in past articles (and will surely be mentioned again), and some are newly discovered. .  Listen, enjoy, and follow the bands on SoundCloud and Facebook!

https://soundcloud.com/steponmagazine-toronto/sets/lend-an-ear-shoegazers-you-6

 

Lend An Ear: Shoegazers you should know about – Part 7

Nothing at Adelaide Hall. Toronto.  Photo: Dave MacIntyre
Nothing at Adelaide Hall. Toronto. Photo: Dave MacIntyre

The ongoing search for the best of the best Shoegaze, Nugaze, Dream Pop and Noise bands continues with Step On Magazine’s 7th playlist of the series.  Some of these bands have been mentioned and highlighted in past articles (and will surely be mentioned again), and some are newly discovered. .  Listen, enjoy, and follow the bands on SoundCloud and Facebook!

Dave MacIntyre

In The Spotlight: Nothing

Nothing @ Adelaide Hall, Toronto 2014.  Photo: Dave MacIntyre
Nothing @ Adelaide Hall, Toronto 2014. Photo: Dave MacIntyre

The response to our first Lend An Ear post was immediate and engaging, proving that Shoegaze, Nugaze, Dreampop, etc. is not only alive and well, but growing.  And more importantly, the people that listen to it are passionate and really like to talk about it.

There were a few bands that got repeat mentions (Cheatahs, Wozniak and Whirr to name a few), but one in particular that prompted the need for special mention was Nothing.

I discovered this band purely by accident during Canadian Music Week last year.  I was at Adelaide Hall early and there to cover an entirely different act when out strolled these four dudes.  My interest was instantly piqued when I noticed a Depeche Mode t-shirt and a Morrissey profile tattoo.  When they started to play, I was riveted.  By the end of the set, I was slack-jawed and asking everyone around me “Who the hell are these guys?”

“Nothing.  They’re from Philly and they’re awesome!”

Yes.  They are.  Listen and be changed.


Nothing will be back in Toronto on March 21st with Torche and Wrong at Lee’s Palace and Step On will be there.

Watch for Part 2 of the Lend An Ear: Shoegazers edition coming soon.

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