support Chain of Flowers + Alpha Male
author HES date 22/09/16 venue Beta, Copenhagen, DEN

In spite of having the least search-optimized band name in the world, Nothing seems to have found their audience with their 2014 release “Guilty of Everything”, followed up by their spring 2016 release “Tired of Tomorrow”. The Philadelphia, PA -based band excels in the recently popular ‘moody, 90’s inspired alt-rock’, taking inspiration from grunge, shoegaze, indie and noise-rock and requesting membership in a club of bands that has taken us by storm lately: Basement, Title Fight, Turnover et al. And their latest release "Tired of Tomorrow" is monumental in sound — dense and emotional. It’s fair to say that I am very excited about their show tonight as the band is a serious contender for my ‘favourite albums of 2016’-list.

All photos courtesy of Philip B. Hansen

Alpha Male

Alpha Male

In spite of only having three members, Alpha Male has a grand musical size and tonight’s sound mix mysteriously helps them in spite of breaking all rules of shoegaze. Instead of serving us the usual noise-driven soundscape where guitar and hence distortion is dominating, both bass guitar, and particularly the drums seem to stick out more than is the dogma of the genre. In this case it is absolutely brilliant, as August Ottsen on drums is actually quite the talent, always working in some intrinsic detail instead of playing the regular 4/4 pattern. Vocalist Paw Skovbye has a beautiful voice, but as per regular genre doctrine, it does get a little lost in effects; in between song sections he lets out a howl that is barely detectable, but makes for a good dynamic as a contrast to the drowsy vocals. Guitarist Joachim Holmgaard is an introverted but entertaining character as he loses himself in the distortion. The only thing dragging the band down really is their interaction with the audience between songs, which seems dominated by nerves to such an extent that the connection is lagging a bit. However, the band impresses enough to make this scribe excited about their warm up gig for the upcoming Turnover show.


Chain of Flowers

Chain Of Flowers

Cardiff, United Kingdom -born Chain of Flowers is a dream-pop/post-punk band in the most generic definition of the genre. The band is a six-piece constellation, but vocalist Joshua Smith seems to take up most of the space on stage with his eccentric dance moves and moody outbursts. Sadly, he does so with no connection to the rest of his band, who seem to work merely as a backdrop to his enlarged personality. This dynamic does work for some bands, but sadly Smith seems to have more antics than actual talent. The connection to the audience is pretty much lost as Smith seems completely caught up in his own game, not using his larger than life personality to extend a metaphorical hand to his audience. For the same reason, the band seems leaderless and non-collaborative making for a somewhat flat experience rather than the dynamic interaction the genre beckons.



Nothing has pretty much been on repeat on my Spotify playlist since the release of their newest album "Tired of Tomorrow" — a dense and melancholic release with a very strong, definitive sound. That’s why I decided to check out the band in spite of still being jet-lagged from a trip to Chicago, IL’s Riot Fest. However, I wish I’d stayed in bed tonight. There’s nothing wrong with the musical backdrop that seems to be the foci of the band as well; it sounds great, dark and dystopian — just as it does on record. There is, however, one epic flaw in Nothing’s live show: they simply can’t sing. The worst sinner is lead vocalist Dominic Palermo, who seems to be constantly out of tune, followed by vocalist/guitarist Brandon Setta, who also struggles with most of the tones. Whenever the two try to emulate the unison choirs of the records, they seem to hit both different notes and varying finishes, which basically makes them sound like the first day of boys’ choir in your local church. There’s no coherency, there’s no harmony and there’s no euphony, which completely wrecks the otherwise beautiful and consistent sounds we know from their releases.


Trying to redeem themselves the band banters, and does so slightly more convincingly than they perform as they apologise for being too drunk to sound good at their 2014 gig at Loppen. Turns out, being sober doesn’t save the band, as the illusion of harmonic explosions on their records seem to be merely that: an illusion. On record, the vocals make for a massive impact by becoming the ‘fourth’ instrument apart from bass, drums and guitar, holding the soundscape together in a capsule of emotion. Live though, the vocals stick out like a sore thumb, making it impossible to see past as the audience stands back in disgust or confusion, only one girl emotionally ignoring the dissonance, insisting on the great composition of songs like "A.C.D (Absessive Compulsive Disorder)" that almost survives the shattered soundscape because of its well-crafted chorus. It seems almost unfair that a band like Nothing has grown a big enough crowd to fill up Beta tonight, ‘cause they sure don’t deserve their audience.


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