ZIG ZAGS: Soup Kitchen, Manchester 21st May 2019.

22 05 2019

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Last night I got the chance to see one of the loudest bands ever. There’s only a couple of bands that have left me partially deaf after a show, and Zig Zags are one of them. They are LA’s nosiest band for sure.

They played my favourite venue here, the Soup Kitchen. The only bad thing about this show was that there was hardly anyone there. I’m disheartened about this because Zig Zags are a brilliant live band. However, although the turnout was poor that didn’t stop them and maybe subconsciously they decided to play louder than usual? I don’t know, but I do know this- it was one of the standout shows I’ve been to this year. It was their first time in Manchester, and I really hope it isn’t their last because they are a band that you’ve just GOT to see live. There’s something about them that just spurs you on.

They recently released their new record, They’ll Never Take Us Alive. I wanted to write a review about the record but, I kind of wanted to see their show first before taking it on. I wanted to see how it’d come across in a live environment because it has such a big sound. So, this is part live review/part record review/part me just going on about how great they are. I don’t know where any of this will go, but it’s out of pure admiration.

 

 

The new record is full of anthems, and I as I watched them in awe last night I couldn’t help but feel that their songs would be perfect in a stadium. They have this wonderful, grand sound but it isn’t overpowering. They are amazing musicians, and I swear Dane is one of the greatest drummers of our time. Although the venue wasn’t full, last night he played as if it was a huge fucking stadium and for me- that just sold it. The way they played last night just cemented my respect for them.

Zig Zags remind me of the Misfits mixed with the Melvins and Sleep; with a hint of Noothgrush. Basically, a perfect sound On record, sure you can hear loud they are but when you see them live, something else happens. The songs are heightened and they have this bigger feel to them. Considering they played a small venue, they made it sound like you were somewhere quadruple the size of where you were. For me, that shows you just how great a band is.

With three records into their career, each one is a step bigger and louder. They evolve in a brilliant way, and I really hope I get to see them live again because this was some show! I don’t think there’s a band around right now that are like this, and I just love how they can just annihilate your eardrums in the most beautiful way possible. They’ll Never Take Us Alive is definitely one of this year’s most out there records, and one that oozes fearlessness and this ferocious energy that you just cannot get enough of.

 

 

Zig Zags are the best at what they do, and not only do their records prove this- but their live shows do too. I’m pretty much going to live in the two shirts I bought last night!

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TYLER, THE CREATOR: Igor.

17 05 2019

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The above states how Tyler wants the record to be heard. If you do it any other way, you won’t get the full picture and appreciation for this record. By no means am I going to thrown in any comparisons here. What Tyler has done, yet again, is make something totally out there and unlike anything else we’ve heard, and will hear.

Igor isn’t a concept album, it’s not a rap album. It’s a straight up masterpiece that goes beyond being lumped into a meaningless genre, and sub-genre. With this record, you truly hear how much of a genius he is. Igor is 39 minutes of heaven. The songs will break your heart, but at the same time you’ll hear just how fantastic Tyler is with words. There is something about him that still needs to be appreciated more, and I feel that he’s overlooked so many times. Maybe he’s the underdog, who knows. But as a fan of his, I just idolise him. I get so excited for any music he puts out because I know that the only thing I can expect is to have my mind blown. I had no idea how Igor would sound, but the thing that you get from Tyler is- never expect anything because he will throw you off.

None of the songs can be labelled as my favourite. Every single song is insanely brilliant, and just effortlessly cool. There’s no fear here in going way off, and that’s something I really admire about T. He just has this way of taking you somewhere with his music that no one else can. Besides, he has Santigold on one of the songs and that alone makes the record great. There’s heartbreak on this record, but the way it is projected just makes you really feel it. It doesn’t leave you crippled in emotional distress. You sort of take on a “Fuck you, I’ll be alright” approach when you listen to it, which for the most part is something that has been evident in a lot of T’s songs.

A Boy Is A Gun is definitely up there as being a poetic masterpiece, it’s the sheer delivery of T’s words and the production too is just brilliant. In fact, the whole record is composed and produced in such a beautiful way. You can truly hear the care and devotion that has gone into this record, and that’s something again, I really respect about T. There are so many tender moments on this record, and these tender moments just make you fall even more in love with him. Puppet is a beautiful, and gentle song that just leaves you in awe of the level that Tyler is at. The whole record just blows you away. I’m honestly at a loss for words here because I really want to write something to truly explain how great this record, but I’m just taking it all in. I’ve played it about 4 times since it came out. I played it on my way to work, twice at work, and now. I can’t get enough of it.

Something I really love about this record is how Tyler goes from delicate songs right into something that smacks you right in the face- prime example of this is how he goes from Puppet to What’s Good.. What’s Good needs to be played ridiculously loud. He delivers his verses with so much energy, and can tame it down in the next breath. I don’t know how he does it, but he does it so well. I’d love to know what goes on in his mind when he makes his records. To just be around him when he’s making music must be so exciting. He makes you sometimes feel you are listening to more than one song at once, and this chaos he brings is so enjoyable. I just absolutely love him, so much. Gone,Gone/Thank You has this beautiful sadness to it. It’ll break your heart, but there is something about that just fills you with joy. He’s outdone himself yet again. It’s lyrically my favourite on the record. The way he really goes for it just blows me away.

This is probably the worst thing I’ve written about a record. Probably because I’m so excited about it, and I don’t know how to put this into words. All I know is that this is one of the greatest records of the year, and for me- Tyler’s greatest record so far. This is one to cling on to. This is one to play when you feel a bit lonely, lost and you just need something to hit you in the soul.

Every single one of these 12 songs is a masterpiece. It’s a record that you need to listen to with your undivided attention, and in order. Do not skip songs. Do not try listen to it on random. Lay on your bed and take the songs in. Go for a long walk, and take it all in. Head out to the beach, and soak in every element of this record. Love this record with all you have, and all you are.

 





THE MURDER CAPITAL.

13 05 2019

 

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With a name as dark, and as sinister as The Murder Capital- you’d hope that their sound is every part moody and brutal. They go beyond that, and in turn it makes them one of the most exciting bands around. I know nothing about The Murder Capital, but I sure as hell know I love their sound. I love how heavy it is, and I love this beautiful and magnetic darkness in the music and lyrics. There is honesty, there is eeriness and there is a wonderful glimpse of vulnerability within their songs. There is so much about The Murder Capital that makes them such an effortlessly brilliant band. There is something about them that stirs something within you, and once it grips you- that’s it.

Last month they supported Idles, which just shows how talented they are. Imagine being at that London show seeing two of the best bands around. Does it get better than that? Probably not.

There is this gorgeous desperation in the music, and it is evident on the song Green & Blue, where James’ vocals just shatter your heart in a way no other song has. His voice is powerful, but not in an overbearing way. He has this tone to his voice that can be brutal when needed but is fragile at the right moments. He truly shows this on Green & Blue. The Murder Capital have a distinctive sound that has you hooked on them immediately.

I wanted to wait a while before writing about them, because I really wanted to take the time to get to know the music rather than do my usual passion ramble about something I love. I’m aware it is annoying. The Murder Capital have got two songs up on their Spotify page, and those two songs are enough to make you fall in love, and believe in them. You just know that something truly remarkable is going to happen with them. I can’t wait to see it, I just know that when their debut record comes out- it’ll blow us all away. But in the meantime, I’ve got Feeling Fades (which has been produced by the genius that is, Flood) and Green & Blue on a loop. However, look below and you’ll be lucky enough to watch a stunning live performance of More Is Less, which is just a masterpiece.

The Murder Capital are a band that just HAVE to be heard. They must be heard as loud as you can stand. I’ve yet to see their live shows but something tells me it’s nothing short of a magical experience that will take over every single part of you. These five pals from Dublin are really one of the most exciting and powerful bands around. They have something about them that just makes you listen. I mean REALLY, REALLY listen to them. Their sound is intense, and it is the kind of intense that is in a record by The Birthday Party. You’re constantly on the edge of something, and you never know when it’ll hit. For me, that’s something I always look for in music. I want something to always keep me on edge. Which sounds a bit fucked really considering I’m on medication for depression and anxiety! Besides, music helps me out more and having something to listen to that throws you deep into the unknown is such a powerful feeling, and one that nothing else in the world can compare to.

The Murder Capital are quite frankly, going to blow your mind. Maybe you’ll catch onto them soon. Maybe in a few months, or a year. But when they grip you, embrace it. Really embrace it because bands like this do not happen  often.

 

*Photo credit: JustGrayce





THE UNDERGROUND YOUTH: Montage Images Of Lust & Fear.

15 04 2019

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The Underground Youth are such an incredibly underrated band, and with each record they have this ability to just shock you with their sound. A sound that is in no other band you’ve listened to, a sound that you cannot get enough of. The Underground Youth have yet again, put out another exquisite record. A record that pierces right through your heart and soul. A record that must be played obsessively.

Montage Images Of Lust & Fear is not only a great name for a record, but it totally sums up the atmosphere on this record. I’ve been a fan of The Underground Youth for a stupid amount of time, and I remember seeing them live a couple of years ago, and I was just in awe of their set. Easily one of the most impressive bands I’ve ever seen live, and I cannot wait to see them again next week at my favourite venue in Manchester but before then- I’m going to go on about their new record.

 

9 songs. 43 minutes. What can you get from a record in that amount of time? What do you expect from a record in that amount of time? Well, with this record think Rowland S. Howard’s Teenage Snuff Film meets Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds’ Let Love In record. Craig’s vocals have never ever sounded better. I absolutely love the bones of this record, and I adore how you can hear so much growth in this record. The Underground Youth are one of the hardest working bands around, and always seem to be on tour. So when you listen to this record, you cannot help but think of how these songs are going to sound live. I’m already obsessed with Craig’s vocals on Last Exit To Nowhere. It’s the second song on the record, and it just blitzes its way right on through you. It doesn’t calm down after that. The Death Of The Author is a gorgeous and eerie song that sends shivers right through you.

I love how drums can give a record or a song a mood, or create an atmosphere that just spooks you. Olya’s one of the best drummers around- she has this effortlessly cool way of just beating the shit out of the drums and letting every beat shatter through your body. You move to her beat, and the way she does this is something I’ve never seen before. She gives so much tension in the way she plays, and it is the kind of tension that you crave from music. It’s the kind of tension that makes you love the band you’re obsessed with even more than you already are. In short, she’s incredible. The Underground Youth are incredible, but you probably already know that.

Montage Images Of Lust & Fear is a record that will scare the shit out of you, but will also be a record that you cannot get enough of. It’s a record that consumes you in the best way imaginable. The atmosphere on this record makes you wish you could make something like this, but let’s be honest- no one can do it like The Underground Youth. I love the romanticism in their music. It’s not the conventional and boring type, it’s something beyond anything you’ve ever known. I’ve been listening to The Underground Youth for a long time now, and with every record they blow my mind but this record has something else. It’s heavier, it’s darker and keeps you right on the edge. You can’t help but wonder what is going to happen next on the songs. You don’t know what part of the song is going to rip right through you.

Although it is a heavy record, one song in particular is on the gentle side. Too Innocent To Be True is such a beautiful and timid song. There is this wonderful gentleness to Craig’s vocals on this, and I hope they play this song on their tour because I think it’ll show a side to the band that doesn’t get shown often. It’s a mellow moment, and it fits so perfectly on the record. The bass on this song carries you away, and you just float on with it.

Blind I and Blind II feel like they could be some creepy thriller film, set in black and white. There’s something really magical about how Blind I flows right into Blind II. Blind I feels like the build up and eruption of something really bad happening, and Blind II is like the aftermath of it. Play the songs right after each other, and hopefully you’ll see what I mean. Blind II reminds me a little bit of Ghost Rider by Suicide, which is always a good thing. The song feels like a chase, and the way Craig quiets down on this song, when they do this live I’m pretty sure the crowds will go nuts especially when it picks up again. It’s probably my favourite song on the record at the moment. It’ll change though, because a record this fantastic isn’t made for you to just have one solid favourite. Every song is there to be adored and obsessed over. Each song will get their turn, I promise.

 

Of course I’d love more songs on this record because I just love The Underground Youth a hell of lot but with just 9 songs, they again blow your mind. Play the songs as loud as you want, listen to it over and over. Every listen will give you something new to love about the band and this record.

Montage Images Of Lust & Fear is a truly remarkable record, and for me, has left a lasting impact. It’s an absolute pleasure to listen to and just fall in love with.





PINKY PINKY.

26 03 2019

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I’ve said it countless times that Los Angeles produces so much great music. So many bands I love come from the westcoast, and they are all to blame for my fantasy to run away there, lounge about on the beach and listen to music I love. Then at night-time, head to a basement bar and listen to even more music. Spend the rest of my days like that- my idea of bliss. Anyway, let’s talk about Pinky Pinky.

Pinky Pinky are three best friends who make the kind of music to make you dance like an idiot to. They make you forget your troubles, and they just have this gorgeous carefree sound that once you hear, it leaves you addicted. You don’t just listen to them once and carry on with your day. Oh no! You become entirely consumed with what they give you. They have absolutely perfected a sound that is so ethereal but nothing to mess with. It’s a one of a kind sound, and it’s one that when you hear it, you know you’ve been in need of it for a hell of a long time.

They’ve been best friends forever, and this unity they have really comes out in their sound. You really get a sense of their passion for music, and the way they work together. The music just makes you feel good, and maybe it’s because they are unleashing their insecurities and anxious feelings. For me, that’s a good thing. The less of us that feel alone, the better. Music is a safety net for so many of us, and you can add Pinky Pinky in there as a band who truly make you feel comforted.

 

They’ve got a couple of EPs already released, and their debut record is due out this year (June, I think) and going by the single, Do Me Dirty (Charlie), I think it is pretty obvious that it is going to be a flawless record and will be the soundtrack to the summer for so many of us.

For three people, they make a lot of noise. The kind of noise you get lost in and want to be part of. I’m pretty sure that their live shows are as great as their records. I can imagine the songs really coming alive, and you being able to take more from the songs. Hot Tears is one of my favourite song of theirs right now. I love the heaviness in it, and I’m pretty sure this is one song in particular that becomes totally different live. It’s got such a raw Bluesy feel to it, and it’s something I hope the band dive into further on. It’s such a great song and a brilliant sound, but they also have this way of hitting you with smoother, and more delicate songs. Everything about Pinky Pinky’s music is worthy of your time and attention. They’re truly doing something we’ve not heard before, I can’t get enough of it.

There’s no one else you can compare Pinky Pinky too, so obviously there’s no point in even trying to do so. Their earlier songs have this raw Bluesy sound, but it’s mixed with that 60s Wall of Sound feel. They pretty much take everything I love about music, and make something totally unreal. They’re just a brilliant band, and exceptional musicians.

If you’re wanting to check out their live shows, they are heading to the UK soon:

May 17 – Glasgow, Scotland @ Mono*
May 18 – Edinburgh, UK @ Sneaky Petes*
May 20 – Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen*
May 21 – Birmingham, UK @ Sunflower Lounge*
May 22 – London, UK @ Seabright Arms
May 24 – Manchester, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival
May 25 – Bristol, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival
May 26 – Nottingham, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival

*17th May to 21st May are dates with The Nude Party.

Their debut EP is a dream. I’ve had it on repeat this evening, and I cannot get enough of it. They have a song called Hot Under The Habit which is going up there in my favourite songs by them. Sure I love them all, but this one is right on up there. I love the gnarly guitar, and I love how it has this real raw feel to it. You blast it out loud, and it just moves you. This is the song I keep on going back to. This is my one, I’ve decided. It’s a brilliant EP, and I’d be happy to have it on repeat for the foreseeable. It’s so, so good!

Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. Listen to them, and come see Pinky Pinky on tour!





CROWS: Silver Tongues.

24 03 2019

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If you’re looking for a record that’ll make you feel like a weight has been lifted off you whilst also feeling like you could happily trash a room or 5- then all you need to do is get a hold of the debut record by the fantastic, Crows.

Silver Tongues isn’t a record for those who wish to always be in the midst of silence (I love the quiet, but sometimes I just need a band like Crows to balance it all out) this record is straight up noise, and I cannot get enough of it. The titled track opens the record, and it 5 minutes of pure noise, this thrashing against the skull kind of noise that makes you so fucking glad that you’re breathing. I think I’ve found another record to cling to here.

Hard to believe that this is Crows debut record. They’ve been around for some time now, and have been ripping apart venues all over. Now they have a body of work to shatter our eardrums in the most pleasant way imaginable. Every single song has the power to be an anthem. These guys could easily blow the roof off a stadium, but we all know that sweaty, intimate venues are the ones that get the music across the most. There’s probably no better feeling than being in a cramped room with this band pouring their heart out on stage, and playing with every ounce of passion they have.

 

 

I can’t think of anything else like this record, and I sure as hell can’t name a band like Crows. No one else is doing this. I can only liken them to The Birthday Party. They’ve got that intense sound that can scare you shitless but it also gives you so much joy. It is such an effortlessly perfect record, but you can definitely hear how hard they’ve worked at this record. Empyrean is the third song on the record, and although it’s only slightly delicate- it’s the lyrics that come for your mind, body and soul. There is so much going on in this song, in the best possible way. It’s easily one of my favourite songs on the record, for now. I’ll change my mind with every listen- it’s one of those records that you probably can’t commit to having one favourite song. Every song will mean something to you, and over time will take its turn to be your favourite. When a band can do this with a record, then you know you’ve found something special, and Crows have done it with their debut record.

Wednesday’s Child is one to really sink your teeth into. I was born on a Wednesday, so that’s probably why I’ll call this as another strong moment on the record, but who am I kidding. The whole record is just a beautiful masterpiece. The sheer loudness and mind-fuckery on this record is absolutely stunning, and I really can’t think of anything else I’ve heard in a while that has moved me like this. I write as a fan, so I’m not going to ever dissect a record and give you its faults. I’m not a musician, and I have no right to do that. I love music, and my god Crows are just defining why I love music and why I love writing about it. They’re heading out on tour soon, and I reckon these will be the shows that show us exactly what they are made of and more. So much more.

Silver Tongues is a record that stays with you after your first listen. Something happens- it’s like this sigh of relief when it ends, and you think , “Thank god this record exists.” It’s something we all need, and with the world and some people being utterly trying- this record is a massive source of comfort, and it also keeps you on edge. You don’t know what to expect from this record, but what you get from it is something you never knew you could get. I’m obsessed with music, and I am obsessed with Crows. This record is truly something else. Goose bumps from start to finish. I feel like I’m 14 years old and discovering The Birthday Party for the first time, and taking my stepdad’s tapes of The Cramps and being engulfed into this weird and captivating world. I’m still there, and I want music to always take me there. Crows have absolutely outdone themselves with this record.

Crawling gives you that raw and vulnerable feeling- I love how graphic the lyrics are, and I love how the music really enhances the openness of this song. It’s one that would definitely have its meaning heightened once you see it live, I reckon. It’s such a ferocious song. I can’t get enough of it. Chain of Being is another song to really play loud, and listen intensely too. I mean, you should do this with the whole record but these two songs in particular have something about them that gets you right in the chest.

 

 

The last three songs on the record (Tired and Failed, First Light//False Face and Dysphoria) show a side to this record that is darker but a lot more fragile. The vocals on Dysphoria will break your heart, the lyrics will be etched upon you. It’s over 5 minutes of a wealth of emotions, and it may be too much to handle but for me, these lyrics are huge. There is so much importance within this song. There’s something about this song that’s got me hooked and I think it’s the one I’ll keep going back to over and over. Silver Tongues is a gorgeous record that messes with your head in the right way, but the song Dysphoria is truly something else. It’s a masterpiece on its own. You feel like something has forced you up and into this different dimension with this song. It takes you somewhere sacred, and that alone makes it. It just makes it. Again, another moment on the record where I’m covered in goose bumps. I’ve found a home in this song.

I think you can pretty much tell that Silver Tongues is a record I am in love with. It’s made up of “Oh shit!” moments where you are taken aback with what they have done, it’ll hit you right in the gut.

Nothing will be the same after your first listen, and there’s nothing wrong at all with that.





WALLOWS: Nothing Happens.

23 03 2019

 

Wallows record

“It’s not a crime if you take what’s given
It’s just a crime if you’re payin’ for it
What’s the fun if you know what’s comin’?”

 

A debut record holds so much weight for a band- they can either fuck it up, or make you listen. Listen obsessively or disregard after one listen. Wallows truly have nothing at all to worry about with their debut record, Nothing Happens. It’s a record that’ll make you feel like everything is alright amongst that inner chaos that boils inside of you. It’ll be that friend you need when everyone else has turned their light off and gone to bed. It’ll be everything you need to get you through.

The record opens with the gorgeous, Only Friend. Dylan’s vocals on this song remind me so much of Julian Casablancas. They both have this beautiful, relaxed sound in their voice that just eases you and makes you hold onto the lyrics even more. I love how as this song fades, it goes gently into Treacherous Doctor which is one of the many moments where Braeden and Dylan’s vocals are in sync of each other, and just show us how great they are as singers. Each song flows gently and effortlessly into the next. The way in which Treacherous Doctor has this powerful instrumental moment which is delicately eased into the Sidelines.

 

Nothing Happens has been the only thing I’ve been listening to solidly since yesterday. It’s 38 minutes of sheer joy and genius. It is such a beautifully put together record, and although they’ve been a band for a number of years now- there is definitely a grown sound in this debut record. It is such a joy to listen to, and the way in which it takes you away from where you are and into their world, I really cannot praise it enough. Are You Bored Yet? is great to hear on this record, and how it slots between Sidelines and Scrawny. There is something about their songwriting that just really hits you. Are You Bored Yet? and Scrawny are two of my favourite songs of the year, and lyrically too. I really don’t have the words to do those two songs justice with how great they are.

As someone who is prone to panic attacks and the like, I seek comfort in music. I take the tablets because I have to. But for me, music is the one thing I rely on the most to ease me out of certain places. I’ve taken a lot of comfort from this record, and it is songs like What You Like and Do Not Wait that really ease the mind and body. But, let’s not dwell on that side. You just need to know about how great this record.

I think some have probably made the comparisons to The Strokes. Normally I shy away from comparisons and the like, but for me, Nothing Happens has something about it that Is This It had when I first heard it. There’s this wonderful laid-back sound on this record that is found on Is This It. But, the bands aren’t the same. Wallows make you feel like you’re in this blissed-out summer mood, and I think Ice Cold Pool probably has my favourite chorus. Just throwing that one out there. I adore Braeden’s vocals so much on this song, and it’s definitely my favourite song that he sings on, on this record.

Now to turn my focus on Cole; Worlds Apart is his moment. I’d say Scrawny is too, but I’m going with Worlds Apart, because I just love how he keeps up the pace of the song, and gives it this brilliant rhythm. It’s a sad song, but there is something so innocent about it, and what I love so much about Wallows is that they keep you guessing on what decade they are from. Worlds Apart has a 60s psychedelic feel to it, but songs like Scrawny sound like they from now.

What You Like is again another one of the songs I keep obsessively going back to. I just love everything about this song. I love the vocals, I love the production, I adore the lyrics a hell of a lot and the sound is just perfect. It’s another song where Cole’s drumming just leaves you in awe. Something you cannot help but treasure about this record is how well produced it is. Not in an over-produced way, far from it. You just hear that Wallows know exactly what they want their record to sound like, and how they want the record to flow. It flows perfectly. I know I’ve already mentioned it, but the way in which each song flows into the other is just brilliant. I can’t help but really focus on that. John Congleton has truly produced a phenomenal record here.

 

Everything I love about music is in this record. I loved the excitement surrounding the release of this record, and finally being able to listen to it. Listening to it over and over again, it just makes me love Wallows all over again. It’s such a brilliant record, and every single song fits perfectly. The record ends on Do Not Wait- a 6 and a half-minute masterpiece. If you’re looking for a band that’ll surprise you with their sound, and never give you anything typical- then Wallows are for you, Nothing Happens is the record for you. Do Not Wait is a wonderful song to end the record on, and it’s definitely a song that you turn to. Just listen to it closely, and you’ll get what I mean. Dylan’s outro on this is another stand-out moment on this record. For me, they all shine on this record- but this song just shows us all how bloody brilliant they all are.

Start to finish, Nothing Happens is an effortlessly brilliant record. Obviously as a huge fan of the band I’m going to say this, but in all honestly- it’s one of the best debut records I’ve heard in a long time. Listen to the record, and just fall into a state of escapism. Just be. Let the songs carry you. Cling to them if you want; you won’t be alone in that, trust me.