Nothing More — Spirits
Released: October 14th 2022
Jonny Hawkins — Vocals
Mark Vollelunga — Guitar
Daniel Oliver — Bass
Ben Anderson — Drums
I’ll be honest, before this moment, Nothing More hadn’t ever appeared on my personal radar. I’d not heard about them before, but I love discovering new bands and new music, whether it be someone emerging, or just new to me — so I was excited for this. Upon listening, I was impressed highly by the fact that every song, no matter whether they lean more heavily into the metal aspect that the band holds, or more into the punk influences, there is an absolutely seamless blend from one track to the next. This record has definitely felt like the band have had more of an influence from modern metal music in the making of this, by having the really heavy guitar riffs and more unclean vocals than clean for the most part, with an occasional spoken word sentence or two scattered throughout some tracks as if to tell a story or really get a point across.
Spirits is a little heavier than I would typically listen to, but I can appreciate and connect with the work put forward. It forced me to take a step back and really analyse the music that I was hearing and through that process, I found myself constantly picking up on something different in every track that played, whether it be the clean vocals and appreciating the smoothness and beauty of the sound, or even the unclean vocals and the power, strength and heaviness that they brought (I can ALWAYS appreciate an unclean vocalist as that is an absolutely killer talent in and of itself). Then I’d hear the heavy bass rhythm and the guitar, then the guitar solos and the drums that were going a mile a minute. All of these things, usually I feel as though I would miss noticing when I listen to music, even though I know all those in-depth layers are there and I know that they really help to bring the song together, it just tends to not get consciously noticed. Although as I mentioned before, despite the record seeming to be following a more modern approach to metal, I did find that a handful of songs really stuck out to me for being more in the alternative rock sound and it was something that I really enjoyed. ‘Tired of Winning’, ‘Deja Vu’, ‘You Don’t Know What Love Means’ were my top three, showing off the beauty of their alternative rock influence, the intricacy of the clean vocals, yet still staying true to the vibe that they were trying to achieve for this release.
‘Tired of Winning‘ starts out with a heavy guitar riff, some synth and a blend of unclean and clean vocals before Jonny Hawkins just lets loose with a melodic, beautiful chorus that is so catchy and will definitely get stuck in my head. He really shows off his vocal range and capability. ‘You Don’t Know What Love Means’ was one that not only showed off the beautiful vocals, but both bass and lead guitar, working in complete harmony, giving this gorgeous rhythm that almost carries the song through the stages of what feels like emotions. ‘Deja Vu‘ stuck out to me for its dark undertone, but also the talent of Ben Anderson on the drums, it is the most prominent instrument that shines through and while it doesn’t sound as though it’s a crazy or insane drum line, it’s enough to really just pull everything together and set the mood and the tone of the entire track.
The boys in Nothing More have so seamlessly structured the instrumentals of this record, so much so that you can hear each and every layer. Each and every member works hard at their craft, all at the same time, while still creating beautiful tracks to share with the world. No wonder they’re Grammy nominated! Without a doubt that if you’re a fan of both heavier-style metal, and alternative rock, you will absolutely love this record. It is something that is so well put together that if you’re a bit of a production nerd and love hearing how everything was put together, this will also be the album for you.
When it comes to rating this album though, it’s quite difficult, but I personally would give it a 4/10. I know seems like such a low score and it doesn’t get a low score due to being a bad record. I had to give it a rating based on how I felt. While I fell in love with how well it was put together and all the elements that I picked up on, there were really only a handful of songs that I felt I would actually go back and listen to.
Nothing More – Spirits tracklisting
1. TURN IT UP LIKE (Stand In The Fire)
2. TIRED OF WINNING
3. SHIPS IN THE NIGHT
4. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE MEANS
5. DON’T LOOK BACK
6. THE OTHER F WORD
7. FACE IT
8. BEST TIMES
9. DÉJÀ VU
10. DREAM WITH ME
12. VALHALLA (Too Young To See)