It’s the moment Nothing More fans have been waiting for: The release of the band’s 3rd full length studio album ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves.’ I must preface by saying that I might be a tad biased going into this review, having seen these guys live four times, consequently becoming increasingly impressed with their originality and explosive energy more and more with each performance. Their previous record, 2014’s self-titled album was a revelation from start to finish, thanks to tracks such as “Christ Copyright,” “Mr. MTV,” and “God Went North.” Following up such perfection can be both a blessing and a curse however, causing fans such as myself to hope that the latest release is just as good, if not better.
“Do You Really Want It,” the first complete song on the album kicks off with a blazing start, featuring a vigorous pace and in-your-face attitude that Nothing More is traditionally known for. “Everybody wants to change the world!” singer Jonny Hawkins exclaims, “No one ever wants to change themselves.” It’s this sort of brutal honesty that makes the band one of the most authentic in current culture. Hawkins really shines on this record, showcasing his ability to execute gritty, primal screams, as well as exhibiting an impressive vocal range similar to Fall Out Boy’s lead singer Patrick Stump. (Who, by the way, boasts a high tenor range and a falsetto that spans three octaves and eight semi-tones, making this comparison seriously complimentary.) As anyone knows however, it’s all parts that make a band, and this is one band firing on all cylinders. “Ripping Me Apart” is so good, so exciting, so raw, that it makes you want to lose your fucking mind. It’s the prime example of a band that does their own thing, pulls no punches, and doesn’t give a damn about playing it safe for the sake of possible radio play. Likewise, “Don’t Stop” and “The Great Divorce” are pure, naked emotion, as does “Go To War,” the first single off the record (video below). ‘The Stories’ boasts an impressive roster of 18 songs, giving listeners plenty of gems to choose from.
One theme that the band continues from their self-titled record is the use of instrumentals combined with vintage-sounding spoken word tracks that focus on philosophical subjects such as life, love, and fear. “React / Respond” is one example of this, and serves as a welcome interlude between the more traditionally structured songs. Personally, these are always among my favorite, as they offer insight and make you ponder your own beliefs. In fact, their ability to make me question, and confront my own emotions are two of the major reasons I consider Nothing More to be one of the most important bands of this decade. If a band can make you feel all of your feelings, help you to discover some that were not even on the surface, AND assist you in self discovery, then they are making more than music: they are making art.
In short, ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’ is nothing less than Nothing More, and that alone speaks volumes.