Overall Score: 9/10 Lyrics: 10/10 Repeat Listen Value: 9/10 Variety: 9/10 Pros: Utterly mesmerizing | lyrically complex | Great variety Cons: Some listeners won't invest the time needed to fully appreciate it
Four years ago, Nothing More exploded into the musical consciousness of their self-titled album. A wonderful release full of genre-defying songs that would flit between rock to full on metal and back again in the blink of an eye. An album that needed time investing in it to appreciate it on every level, but when time was given to it, it was an album that gave so many rewards to the listener.
Fast forward to the present day and here we are again, with Nothing More’s new record The Stories We Tell Ourselves. As with the previous album, there are dual themes at work here. Whereas the self titled had the fire / water theme, The Stories We Tell Ourselves hits closer to home with themes of love and loss, relationships from beginning to end and the cauldron of emotions that are contained within.
Once again, Nothing More have created album where styles mesh throughout, but in a way that is effective and fluid, rather than the mess that less talented bands could end up in. Who We Are has a touch of 30 Seconds To Mars’ huge arena rock sound to it. Go To War (used to help promote the recent War Of The Planet Of The Apes movie) is a rallying cry wrapped around some hypnotic drumming and great use of frontman Jonny Hawkins vocal range. Ripping Me Apart as one might imagine from the title is Nothing More at their fiercest while Don’t Stop takes things to the verge of funk rock, albeit with a huge Nothing More twist.
The album ends with a truly epic conclusion in the shape of FadeIn:FadeOut. With subject matter of nothing less than the circle of life itself, it will hit home with different people on different levels. Whether you’ve had a new arrival in your family or a painful loss, or simply want to follow your heart, it’s a song that will speak to the listener. This song, and the album as a whole, includes some of the finest lyrics of the last eighteen months. Thought provoking, memorable, well thought out and with many a story to tell, Jonny Hawkins and the rest of the band have outdone themselves in this department.
After watching their phenomenal debut UK live performance at Download 2014, I wrote these words: “They are a band who shouldn’t be labelled, just enjoyed”. It is a statement that still very much rings true. Quit trying to pigeonhole them, because you can’t. Just enjoy them, and The Stories We Tell Ourselves, for what it is. A truly phenomenal album.
The Stories We Tell Ourselves is out now on Better Noise Records.