Tribute To Nothing

Breathe How You Want To Breathe

Written by: PP on 03/09/2008 16:10:45

I'll always remember Tribute To Nothing as one of my first live experiences where I was really blown away by a band I didn't even know by name. The year was 2005, and the tasty Deconstruction Tour lineup had drawn me to take a train from my university town to London to catch a glimpse of the punk rock elite. Rather early on, I think they were the first band to perform that night, Tribute To Nothing started out with slow, atmospheric alternative rock songs with a bit of a cooled down hardcore flavour to them, then all of a sudden exploded into one of the most vivid, energetic, and explosive live shows I've still seen to date. I don't know why it took over three years for a disc of theirs to arrive on my review desk, but here I am, with their sixth album "Breathe How You Want To Breathe", on the eve of its release in Scandinavia, hopefully suggesting they might be coming around to perform over here, too.

So imagine the relaxed indie/hardcore hybrid sound from Attack In Black with a little bit of roughness from Hot Water Music and the post-hardcore feel from Bear Vs Shark. That's the basic starting point for Tribute To Nothing these days (they used to be more straightforward hardcore back in the day), and it relies heavily on slow, often implicit buildups that naturally transgress into stormy punk rock usually around mid song, the title track being a great example. Much of their music relies heavily on the awesome expression by vocalist Sam, who, like the Attack In Black vocalist, is able to deliver a rich, thick clean vocal that isn't too polished around the edges, adding a warm atmosphere to the music. He shines especially in "Whether You're Ready Or Not", where he starts the song with desperate cries whilst being supported by a few minimalistic strokes on the guitar, then moves onto the angry-ish delivery typical to melodic hardcore bands, finishing it off with the soulful statements "WHETHER YOU'RE READY OR NOT!" in the chorus. This is absolutely the album's hightlight and a song that many listeners will surely carry with them for years to come, for so strong is the atmosphere of the song. Similarly, the finishing A Capella gang choir in "Day In, Day Out" offers another memorable point of reference when you look back at the album in years to come.

As you've probably deduced already, "Breathe How You Want To Breathe" is a grower, and an album that at first sounds bland and expressionless. But once you dig deeper into the vocal delicacies and the way the build ups construct the songs with such intricate detail, you can't help but surrender yourself to their universe and enjoy listening to Sam's lyrical messages. It might not be the album of the year, but you can't go wrong in playing Tribute To Nothing in a moment of nostalgia, the warmth of their sound will surely multiply your feelings.


Download: Day In Day Out, Whether You're Ready Or Not
For the fans of: Attack In Black, Bear Vs Shark, Hot Water Music
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.09.2008
Lockjaw Records

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