“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.