Nothing Credit: Ben Rayner

Domenic Palermo started writing and recording dark shoegaze songs under the name Nothing ten years ago. Since then, Nothing have spearheaded a shoegaze revival by releasing a constant deluge of incredible material, and their recent fourth full-length, The Great Dismal, is no exception. Nothing’s lineup has been retooled since their previous album: Aaron Heard, vocalist for furious hardcore outfit Jesus Piece, has joined on bass, and Doyle Martin, front man for Northwest Indiana slowcore masters Cloakroom, now shares vocals with Palermo and plays lead guitar. The new blood feels like a shot in the arm. Nothing’s 2018 full-length, Dance on the Blacktop, felt tired and thin compared to the rest of the band’s output, but on The Great Dismal, Nothing are back in top form with sharp production, beautiful vocal melodies, and layers of heavy, lush guitars. The Great Dismal has all the great hallmarks of classic shoegaze: “Catch a Fade” strings forlorn, dreamy hooks over a simple stomp, “Just a Story” is a cloud-clearing triumph, and “Say Less” and “Bernie Sanders” recall Loveless with their smears of whirling guitars and skittering drum loops. There’s no fuss or fanfare on The Great Dismal, just Nothing doing what they do best. Though they tip their hats to the 90s, they inject these songs with enough of their own personalities to keep them fresh and fun—and in the process they’ve made a contender for best rock record of 2020.   v