Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nothing More: Self-Titled Album gets 8.25/10 From KC Cassi [Electronic Pop Rock that Keeps you Moving!]

Band Members:

Jonny Hawkins - Lead Vocals, Aux Drums

Daniel Oliver - Bass, Backup vox

Mark Vollelunga - Guitar, Backup vox

Paul O’Brien – Drums

Nothing More – Self Titled Album
Track List:
1.      Ocean Floor
2.      Ballast
3.      Christ Copywrite
4.      Mr. MTV
5.      First Punch
6.      Gyre
7.      The Matthew Effect
8.      I’ll Be Okay
9.      Here’s to the Heartache
10. If I Were
11. Friendly Fire
12. Sex and Lies
13. Surfance Flames
14. Take a Bullet
15. Jenny
16. God Went North
17. Pyre

I have been fortunate enough to catch Nothing More before live and they put on one amazing show. There is a lot of crowd interaction, stage presence and most importantly; they sound the same live and they do recorded (well, pretty close). I had the opportunity to review their latest Self-Titled 17 Track Album and was pretty impressed with it as a whole. There were definitely songs that stuck out more than others but I would recommend adding this to your album collection!

Ocean Pride is a nice intro that comes at you with a fierceness. However, it does get into a pretty killer groove that resembles the Dub step sound; that is until the last 10 second or so where the rock finally makes it appearance.  Ballast leads right out of the intro and comes in hard, swinging and with a very catch tune. It has a nice mix of genres that fits my taste too! Vocal techniques are pretty cool and well done on this track even when he goes into the growling/yelling part of it.

The next track, Christ Copywrite, caught my eye simply because of the title but overall I wasn’t overly impressed with this jam. Some of the electronic noises seemed overused and kind of sold the song short a bit. I did love the chorus and the well written lyrics and the track is pretty good if you can get past some unnecessary noises within the instrumental. The next track up on the Nothing More album was entitled Mr. MTV and I was secretly hoping I would hear the slow “I want my MTV” tune somewhere in the track. Within a few seconds I was given my request and I was on board for the jam! The bass was definitely dominant more in this track than some others on the album but I was digging it with the lyrics, this was the song I was hoping I would hear with such a title. Very true and opinionated words are what thousands of us are thinking and wish we could say as well.

First Punch opens up a lot like a Fall out Boy style of song but once that first down beat comes right before the chorus, you’re in the groove for the rest of the track. I was sold on this jam just 40 seconds in due to the simple instrumentals with great timing, it allows this to be a song you feel when you are listening to it. I was driving when I first listened to the album and Gyre meshed so well with my emotions that day that is was the perfect driving tune. The slow, acoustic beginning gets you in the mood for the added audio overlays and digital blend too. No vocals on this track other than those audio overlays but you won’t miss them much either. Such a Zen type track that I found myself hitting repeat over and over and really became a favorite. The Matthew Effect was right back to a similar beat and tempo you hear scattered throughout the album but; the lyrics did keep me on board. “One day you’ll realize, your no Jesus Christ!” I think that is something we’ve all wanted to say to someone at some time in our lives and the song pushes the portrayal hard. I am definitely a fan of Nothing More’s ability to write lyrics that are real life, easy to relate to and unique for their sound. About 2:28 into this track vocalist, Johnny, hits a killer note and made me produce a huge smile!

Another slow groove on the album is I’ll Be Okay but while the tune itself isn’t producing a real WOW factor, it is nice to hear a more vulnerable side to the band with the slower jams. With this track, simple was definitely the best choice. I really did enjoy this song once I got into it.  Here’s to the Heartache is my favorite track on the entire Nothing More album! It has such an uplifting groove,  great lyrics and the perfect amount of bass for a ride around town. I wouldn’t say the song has something real unique or different about it, but the emotion that the band is able to portray in such a simple song is moving. You don’t stay in the chill mode very long though because with If I Were, you are back into the harder, electronic metal groove. While I am a big fan of Nothing More , their sound and their well written lyrics; this track was just a bit too familiar for me to enjoy. It was definitely the same kind of sound as quite a few tracks on the album. It was a good track none the less, but by this point in the album you definitely can pin point their sound.

Heading up Track #11 with Friendly Fire brought a really distinct attitude opening up and by about 23 seconds in, you’re going to want to move your entire body. This is a great example of a rock song you can groove and dance too and it definitely has a similar sound to the early 2000’s Three Day’s Grace. The chorus was a bit too repetitive for my person taste but I can see this being a great crowd interaction song at live shows! I thought for sure the band had written a song about my life when I saw the title Sex and Lies so I actually listened to this track first. I am a huge fan of the deep, heavy riffs and double bass on the kit, mixed with some eerily graced vocals. Johnny has SUCH a range to his voice and it makes it fun to listen to. Slapping bass resonated in my earphones and really pulled me into to focus more on the instrumentals of the track.

I was definitely smiling once Surface Flames came on and delivered a deep, kind of R&B beat in the beginning, and that really sold me. While I wasn’t a fan of some of the electronic choices for these tracks, I do love that it kept the dynamic and incorporated multiple influences in the sound too. This is definitely one of the more Dub Step sounding songs on the album, not one of my favorites, but a good track in its own light!  It’s hard to disappoint when the song title has Bullet in it, and Take a Bullet had a really cool build up in the beginning that made me excited to hear what the rest of the song would sound like. I really liked the Squiggly sound within the instrumental too. Haha. I am not sure if this was done by a guitar or their electronic features, but it was unique and made me remember the track.

Jenny is so easy to fall in love with and get hooked on, also another great example of a dynamic song. Starting out intimate and soft, then as vocals start to toughen up, you can feel the crescendo coming quick! Definitely loved this track and is one of only three tracks on this album that made it to my personal playlist!  God Went North prepares you for the ending of the self-titled album and while I wasn’t overly impressed by the song as a whole, the vocal range stole the show and was impressive. I was just expecting a little more conviction and demand for the end of the album.

We end the album with Pyre (must be a ‘yre’ obsession with title tracks on this album haha) and the intro is simply ridiculously too long for the last track on the album. The static, distorted sound is cool during the buildup but it takes well over 35 seconds just to hear much of anything. There are no lyrics or vocals and it is simply a jam track to fade you out to the end of the album. Not necessary how I would do it but it was pretty cool to just close my eyes and get lost in the sound.

I definitely suggest getting out and getting this album, or at least giving them a listen online first! They are hardworking, incredibly nice guys with talent that I expect to take them far. Nothing More is currently on the Rock on the Range tour with big acts like Guns ‘N Roses, Slayer, Chevelle, Black Label Society, Kid Rock and many, many more! You can check out more on that show here!

Get the album and past albums here:

Check out the band, cop the album and enjoy what KC Cassi gives a 8.25/10 Stars!

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