Next To Nada is a noisy four piece who have been cutting their teeth on the London circuit for the past year. Today, they announce the release of WHINE // MOTHS, a two-song EP which sees the group developing past their alt rock beginnings to pursue a darker, more intense, and often manic sound. WHINE // MOTHS will be released on 15th March, with the band sharing first track, ‘Whine, Lips‘ today.

Next To Nada rage against capitalist routine in a nuanced and interested way on this EP, never taking anything at face value and seeking kindness even as they expel cynicism. Their songs strike an intensely personal note, that anyone struggling in modern grind culture might relate to, but they also aren’t afraid to groove through it all.

We asked lyricist and primary writer of the EP Georgie Bogle (Gigi Ruckus) about 3 releases that have influenced the band. Georgie comments about ‘Whine, Lips’: “… a self-lament / piss-take that I wrote whilst in a particularly lengthy period of self-destructive behaviour. Dissociation, jealousy, unease, apprehension and defeatism were all running amok in the closed quarters of a brain – leading to (what feels like) a tiresome, vicious circle of poor coping mechanisms and pessimism…”

Photo by Espey Photography

Single Mothers – Negative Qualities

I first heard Single Mothers whilst revising for a university exam back in 2014. ‘Marbles’, the second track from Negative Qualities, had popped into in my Spotify’s ‘Discover Weekly’ and, ever since, I’ve been hooked.

Drew Thompson’s penetrating, emotion-laden, vocals are impossible to ignore and his lyrics invoke little sympathy – instead, they paint a picture of a self-aware, but flawed individual who’s struggling to marry their actions, pettiness and anxieties (resulting from personal circumstances and the unrelenting grind of modern-life), with the inevitable consequences that will follow. For instance, ‘Ketamine’ details his substance-facilitated infidelity; ‘Marbles’ picks at the pretentions and self-absorbed complaints of stereotypical English majors, whilst ‘Feel Shame’ acknowledges the self-disgust we inevitably feels towards ourselves from time-to-time.

Underpinning Drew’s vocals are relentless, overpowering drums, a delicious bass tone and pounding distorted guitars. Each instrument intricately sprinkles a hook ‘here and there’ in order to keep you listening, but without compromising the music’s raw, ‘punk’ energy.

The resulting package, for me, is an album that dragged punk away from the tired pop and melodic variants pervasive throughout the late nineties and noughties and into the modern (at the time) age. It’s a personal, beautiful wail into the imposing maw of modern life.

Drug Church – Cheer

I stumbled across Drug Church via one of Patrick Kindlon’s (Drug Church’s lead singer) prior projects, End of a Year, whose song, ‘Composite Character’, candidly demands how the song should be listened to, pesters you regarding modern anxieties (bills, rent and medical issues) and relays both poignant and banal affirmations, giving the overall affect of a modern, punk-oriented ‘Fitter Happier’ by Radiohead. The song grabbed me immediately and, once I’d found out that Patrick was now part of a pleasingly syllabic band called Drug Church, I went to check them out. I’m forever thankful I did so, because they remain one of my favourite bands and, this album in particular, proved to me that you could use pop-sensibilities in hardcore without diminishing the underpinning aggression.

Patrick’s vocals announce lyrics to you in a semi-spoken manner, akin to the hardcore scene that spawned the band, but without the screamed cadence that could put off more casual punk fans (including myself, at the time). Further, in a similar manner to ‘Negative Qualities’, the lyrics use enough metaphor to hit upon the typical punk / hardcore subjects of work culture, meaningless consumerism and ‘conformity for conformity’s sake’ without resorting to lyrical clichės.

Juxtaposing Patrick’s vocals and lyrical style are thick, driving guitars and bass which employ hook-heavy riffs and modulation effects more typical of a pop-oriented hard rock band. Further, the drums are more ‘playful’, simple and follow the affectations of the guitar/bass, as opposed to the continuous barrage of overpowering drums used by more traditional hardcore acts.

The result is an album that ‘feels’ hardcore, but throws the bulk of its usual staples out the window (including those of some of Drug Church’s earlier releases – which I still adore), making it a catchy, powerful and complete ‘introduction to hardcore’ package. In line with bands such as Turnstile, such a style was fairly innovative at the time and opened the door to, long-overdue, mainstream interest in the genre.

WHORES – Gold.

Fuzz, glorious fuzz – this album spurred me to hunt for the thickest fuzz tone I could muster from a guitar pedal.

I had been getting into doom metal and stoner rock, but found a lot of the lyrical content and playstyles fairly uniform from band to band and song to song (which is certainly no criticism, just my personal reaction). I was looking for a band that had the sonic heft and groove of Sleep, the lyrical content of a punk band and, if required, wasn’t afraid to ‘pick up the pace’ (i.e. the same vein as ‘I Can’t Hear You’ by Fu Manchu). Again, Spotify seemed to read my mind and dropped ‘Mental Illness as a Mating Ritual’ (the fourth track of Gold.) into my Discover Weekly – since that day, WHORES have remained my favourite band.

I fell in love with the way that the deep, booming guitar and bass kick you in the head, the gut-wrenching ‘howl into the void’ nature of the vocals and the careful emphasis that the drum fills place (respectively) on the guitar, bass and vocals parts of each song. The album’s production demands your attention and thoroughly deserves it – and when you listen, you’ll be overwhelmed with a sense of catastrophe, brought on by the looming failures of late-stage-capitalism.

We (Next To Nada), loud loud, dirty, fuzzy riffs in one way or the other and we each have our own reasons for wanting as such. This album is my reason.

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