Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In the Batting Circle: Nothington

When an album you anticipate from a band that is relatively small time, you have to be patient. They don't have the means to produce a release every other month and even touring can be financially taxing. I took the patient approach with Nothington's new album Roads, Bridges, & Ruins because I was a big fan of their previous effort All In.
Nothington is Jay Northington, Gabe Lindeman (both formerly of Tsunami Bomb), Chris Matulich, and Tony Teixeira (No word on whether he chokes in important situations). They play a form of melodic punk reminiscent of Gunmoll with Hot Water Music Ragan-eque vocals. It's as good a combination as it sounds.
Roads is a progression for the band. as it should be. Most of the songs, especially "Stop Screaming," are far more complex than anything found on All In. That said, the album drops most of the country or Southern charm that the previous effort had. Roads is straight gravelly pop punk. A song like "The Ocean" has "whoa-oa-oa" gang vocals that just don't feel as sincere as on a song like "Where Is This Going?" on All In.
Another thing this album misses are the backing vocals of Emily Whitehurst, former lead singer of Tsunami Bomb. I get it. She isn't a full time band member and you don't want to be known as former _____ forever. That said, the strongest songs on All In featured the beautiful interplay between Jay and Whitehurst. If you have the opportunity to make your strongest songs with someone (a friend?), then swallow your pride and do it.
Despite my comparisons, Roads, Bridges, & Ruins is a strong release on it's own. Matulich's songs on this album are more cohesive to the whole than his previous efforts. Jay still writes fist pumping ballads that won't leave your head without a fight (see: "Best For Me"). I think the best way to experience this band would be to listen to this latest album first, then get the debut. I like saving the best for last, which explains why I am posting music after all this writing.

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