Nothington

Borrowed Time

Written by: PP on 01/10/2011 05:54:24

Other critics are hailing Nothington's third album "Borrowed Time" as their best yet, but I have to respectfully disagree. Their second album "Roads, Bridges And Ruins" from two years ago was a real breakthrough album, packed with gravelly punk rock drenched in sweaty melodies and scratchy vocals in the vein of Hot Water Music and Leatherface, where the songs sounded like they were bursting to come out of the band. On "Borrowed Time", which is sound wise almost identical to its predecessor, the vibe I'm getting is that this is Nothington on autopilot. That is to say, they are still writing decent riff-driven songs with good melodies in them, just that they sound less engaging and less immediate than before.

For the most part, at least. "Captive Audience" is the highlight of the album together with "Far To Go", which represent the only time Nothington come even close to replicating the success formula laid out by "Roads...". Where the songs before had you singing along from the first lines, here they blend in together too much to an extent where you often feel like skipping to the next track just because you're anxious to hear the same driving melody that you got used to two years ago. The riffs aren't as catchy, the melodies aren't as good, the passion doesn't translate from the songs to the listener well enough, the vocal lines are lazy and disappointing...it's as if the raw energy that was the key strength in the past has disappeared into a sinkhole, replaced with medium tempo tracks that suffice to the genre standards but only give minimum effort instead of going all-out in sing-along choruses and feel-good vibe.

I realize that I've spent way too much time comparing this disc to its predecessor, but it's difficult not to do so if you listen to the two records in parallel. Go ahead, try it yourself. Listen through the entirety of "Borrowed Time", and pop in "Roads..." straight after like I did. On a song-by-song basis, "Roads..." simply triumphs over anything on "Borrowed Time" and often does so by a significant margin. In comparison to the joyous melodies of the former, especially considering how similar the two records are sound wise, "Borrowed Time" sounds awfully lot like Nothington trying too hard to write "Roads..." part two, resulting in an album with similar melody but with a slightly more mature sound. And that's not a good thing. Maybe it's just me, but I just can't get into this record.

Download: Captive Audience, Far To Go
For the fans of: Leatherface, Hot Water Music, Red City Radio
Listen: Myspace

Release date 13.09.2011
Red Scare

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