Editor's note: Welcome to a new feature written by Doug McGrath, a Dallas musician and writer who also has great taste in music.
McGrath is well known as a musician who has written, recorded, and performed with a number of bands, including current bands Bastard City and Dagger Club, and previous band SouthFM, which headlined regional shows, signed to MCA Records in 2003, and toured extensively.
McGrath was also the first floor manager at the Curtain Club and has attended, played, or worked shows in Deep Ellum since 1988.
His "day job" is marketing and communications, and he has served as a writer, editor, and designer for over 25 years, currently in the financial services industry.
He's also an avid listener of music and has developed a following for his great taste.
In this column, he'll share some of his album finds.
Band name: Nothing
Album: Tired of Tomorrow, Relapse Records
Rating: 4 out of 4 stars
One line: Philly shoegazer quartet Nothing is a study in how to balance perfectly crafted, airy melodies with blasts of reverb and delay-drenched guitar.
Review: Technically, Tired of Tomorrow isn't new; it was released two years ago. But it seems to be an album a lot of people may not have heard, and one I think many will like. In addition, Nothing has already begun work on a third full-length album, and revisiting their catalog seems worthwhile.
Their second full-length for Relapse Records (following a 2014 debut called Guilty of Everything), it mixes equal parts distorted, droning guitars, reverbed-out leads, dreamy vocals, and beautiful melodies throughout its 10 tracks and 46 minutes.
"Vertigo Flowers" was the first single, and it's a great place to start if you need to try one track before diving in, as it has all the hooks and hallmarks of Tired of Tomorrow's sound. Check out the song on YouTube.
From the feedback that precedes the first riffs of opening track "Fever Queen," the record is packed full of lovingly layered sounds. But at its core is a wall of distorted, delayed, and at times tortured guitars.
If you look into their history, this makes sense. Nothing founder Domenic Palermo started out in a punk band on one of my favorite labels for metal and punk, Massachusetts-based Deathwish, Inc. And Nothing is currently on the Relapse Records label, whose roster consists of heavy hitters from a broad range of metal genres.
Tired is not metal, but it is still powerful enough to grab the attention of metal freaks like me.
This is a band I discovered via a live performance. Dallas-based promoter John Iskander has brought Nothing to Dallas-Fort Worth a few times over the last few years — most recently in December 2017, when the band performed at Club Dada.
The first time I saw them, I had no idea what to expect and hadn't heard their music. But they're as strong live as they are on record, displaying hints of their influences — Silversun Pickups, My Bloody Valentine, Jesu, Dandy Warhols, Spiritualized — in the vocals and guitars, but with everything presented in a clearly original way.
Relapse says the third album will be released in summer 2018; it's a record I'll be pre-ordering.