This is a revised version of my review of MisterNothing’s new EP, ‘From the Black and Blue’ which is published on YorkVision (I got mixed up with the track order and one lyric, but it’s otherwise the same as http://www.yorkvision.co.uk/scene/album-review-misternothing-from-the-black-and-blue-ep/16/06/2014)
EP Review: From the Black and Blue – MisterNothing
Having written, recorded and produced one of the most promising and energising alternative-rock debuts largely from his own bedroom, former Voice contestant Mitchel Emms and his band MisterNothing are back with staggered EP releases throughout the rest of 2014. With the band now signed to LMC records, the first of these, entitled ‘From the Black and Blue’, lands digitally on the 28th of June.
The title reflects a chaotic and sometimes turbulent year for the band, which has seen fluctuating line-ups. ‘It represents everything that’s been going on with us this year, with the band and also personally’, Emms admits, ‘I don’t think many people realise how difficult it is to be a band in 2014 trying to achieve something different than most other bands who follow what everybody else is doing currently. It’s exactly what songs like Destinations on the EP is about’.
Opening with a motivational quote about overcoming fear and doubts and embracing risk, Final track Destinations embodies this theme with scintillating but well-paced guitar riffs and progressions. An anthem-in-the-making this is one of the most exhilarating and hopeful tracks the band have made thus far, not sitting still for a minute. On a lyrical note Emms reflects on the ‘sacrifices we’ve all made to be where we are’, clearly a core theme of the band’s progress which is marked in this release. The chorus is memorable with its risk-embracing call to ‘jump into the abyss / jump into the unknown’ and ‘fall away from the places you call home’.
These three tracks, Emms admits, are a ‘little heavier musically and lyrically than before but still maintain big choruses and melodies. Hopefully this will be a good introduction to people who have never heard of us before’. Energy, sweat and blood exude from every guitar-infused chorus and Emms’ voice is of extraordinary power and calibre for someone so young, reaching every note with fervour and magnetism. It could plausibly grow to be one of the defining rock voices of a generation if the band’s raw talent is anything to go by.
Opener ‘Goodbye Hello’ is in a similar vein to ‘Destinations’ in terms of melody with the penchant solo riff to open before the layers come crashing in. The lyrics of ‘can’t think, can’t hide, can’t sleep no more’ make for another pounding chorus but ‘Improvements’ contains the most fire and grit. A little more despondent lyrically, it cascades furiously towards its climax as Emms screams develop from ‘only you know me better than I do’ to the repeated ‘you don’t know me’. It burns and rages, leaving you wanting more. The live performances of these songs would be something to behold. While the band are mainly booking gigs in Birmingham, they are likely to venture further afield later in the year with the second EP likely to arrive in September and a third to follow. For an introduction to one of the most exciting new and raw voices in alt-rock (coupled with their incredible instrumental skill, and more than enough passion) look no further. They will only keep improving.