Guilty of Everything

A band named Nothing—featuring a frontman who just did a two-year clip in prison for stabbing somebody—on extreme-metal label Relapse? Must be some brutally heavy shit, right? Somewhat surprisingly, Guilty of Everything, the first full-length for this Philadelphia four-piece, is a full-on shoegaze pop record and a damn good one at that. Unlike Deafheaven, Jesu or the other metal bands (with which Nothing is bound to get lumped in) that are incorporating shoegazin’ elements into their otherwise black- or post-metal sound, Nothing play it straight. Songs like the album-opening “Hymn to the Pillory” and the standout “Somersault” would sound right at home on your My Bloody Valentine Pandora station or coming from a dimly lit London stage 20 years ago. But rather than sound dated, Nothing sounds sincere in their uncompromising adherence to the classic shoegaze conventions: reverb-drenched vocals, unabashed melodicism, and walls of guitar. The band occasionally picks up the pace, like on the driving “Bent Nail” or the garage punk-ish “Get Well”, but frontman Domenic Palermo’s uniformly wispy vocals keep things nice and laid back. Guilty of Everything is rainy day music at its best.