Review: Nothingness - Being

Sometimes it’s good to get away. Withdraw somewhere quiet. Unplug from the distractions of modern life and recharge. In 2014, Nothingness founder, Bill Young did just that. He left the bustle of city life in Vancouver and retreated into the misty shores of Pender Island. Once there Young was afforded the opportunity to embrace the solitude and really dig into what it is he wanted to say as a musician. Nothingness’s debut Being is the culmination of this introspection. An expansive collection of post rock drone that has such a strong tie to the island it was created on you can practically smell the sea air. Album opener ”Pender Island” immediately sets the tone. Echoed out guitar gently arpeggiates over the sound of a BC rainfall. It’s a smart move to start the whole affair with this as it captures and throws you right into the gentle melancholy that permeates the entire collection. “Annie’s Song” comes in rumbling with a big reverbed snare and slowly builds from there to a majestic crescendo where Young wails, “You owe us this one”. There’s so much texture to these songs and it is a testament to Young’s talent that none of the instrumentation seems redundant at all. It’s as if everything that is on display here absolutely needs to be here. The centerpiece of the album, the six plus minute “Haymaker” is a wondrous demonstration of the powerhouse group that Young put together to bring these songs to life. All starts, stops and time changes, bubbling up from quiet beauty to discordant anger, the skills of this four-piece is undeniable. More than aptly backed by Caton Diab, Paul Stewart and most notably the drumming of Justin Devries, Young seems to have found the perfect outfit to share these songs with the world. The album closes with “Sacrifice”.  The song slowly brings you back down to the Pender Island‘s rolling hills after the previous tracks had you swirling in the stars. “Oh to grow old and die”, Young laments as the band rumbles around him. By the time the horns and the choir come in and the album gently shuffles to a close there should be no denying that whatever caused Young to unplug, withdraw and get away was most definitely worth it.

Leave a comment

ION Magazine 170-422 Richards Street Vancouver BC Canada V6B 2Z4
© Copyright ION Publishing Group 2013