Having made the transition from a solo project to a band, June 29th marks the release of MisterNothing‘s first collective efforts with the release of their EP, “From The Black and Blue”. Their previous album, “All My Favourite Bands are Dead” (available to stream and buy here) was recorded and written solely by singer Mitchel Emms, and was an impressive example of musical talent. With the addition of a guitarist John Wilcox and drummer James Harle, an even higher level of talent is expected – no pressure!
Despite being just three tracks long, this alt-rock EP houses all of the band’s best features: powerful vocals, instrumental talent, and skilled song craftsmanship. Emms hopes that “this will be a good introduction to people who have never heard us before”, and this EP certainly achieves that, with a short length makes it highly approachable; this EP could very well be the beginning of something great for the Birmingham-based boys.
The EP opens with “Goodbye Hello”, beginning with a melodic solo riff before continuing into fast-paced drum beats paired with catchy rhythm guitar work. Combined with vocals that go from pitch-perfect to bordering on screaming as well as a catchy chorus that is sure to be a live favourite, this track opens the album as it means to go on.
“We wanted to release something that was a little heavier musically and lyrically than before but still maintaining big choruses and melodies”, says Mitchel Emms, lead singer and MisterNothing founder. MisterNothing’s previous album was considerably more pop-rock than their newest release, which sounds primarily alternative rock, with a hints of indie and grunge influences. A heavier sound is evident particularly in second track “Improvement”, which shows the more rock side to MisterNothing, with rougher, rawer sounding vocals. Opening a little more slowly than the previous track, “Improvement” showcases the vocal talent of Emms. Throughout the chorus, vocals again border on screaming, chorusing “you don’t know me better than I do”, showing passion and clear reflection on real events, heavily housing personal experience within the album.
“Destinations”, the third and final track of the album, also the longest at over six minutes long, opens with the sound of distorted guitars and motivational words before launching into a similar sound to the opening track, brining the album full circle. This track is the best demonstration of skills from drummer James Harle, where his work is most evident with particularly loud and fast beats.
“We called it ‘From The Black and Blue’ because it represents everything that’s been going on with us this year, with the band and also personally”, continues Emms. “I don’t think many people realize how difficult it is to be a band in 2014 trying to do 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.” This is certainly evident within the track, with lyrics that sing “sacrifice we’ve all made to be where we are / we should be so lucky that we’re even here at all” and “I’ve lived and died these past few years” express the hardships and tireless work that is crucial in creating a successful band, in terms of both fans and money. With the quality of both this song and the EP itself, however, it is undeniable that the band have worked tirelessly hard.
The track peaks with a minute-long guitar solo, with riffs reminiscent of work taken from the first two Taking Back Sunday albums, combined the sounds of distorted guitars that give a grungy, yet unique sound to the track. It then continues into the chorus again, repeating “jump into the abyss” combined with big guitar riffs. Whilst the previous two tracks are held at a very high standard, “Destinations” is the highest point in the album, entirely energetic and once again clearly drawn from personal experiences.
“From The Black and Blue” demonstrates Emms’s intensely talented vocal abilities, effortlessly switching between smooth-and-sweet vocals, raw gravelly tones and even some screaming vocal work. Whilst Emms proved in his previous album to be a talented musician alone, the addition of John Wilcox on guitar and James Harle on drums was evidently the right move as together the band have crafted an EP that, impressively, surpasses the talents exuded within “All My Favourite Bands are Dead”, which standing alone was an incredibly well put together piece. The instrumental talents are truly fantastic, especially considering that this is their first joint effort; again, we’re expecting fantastic things from the band’s next EP, scheduled for September 2014.
MisterNothing will be celebrating the release of “From The Black and Blue” by playing a free show at Birmingham Rocks, and if the energy and passion found within this EP is matched when playing live, we’re certain the band will pull off a great live show. Find more information here.