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Nothington - Roads, Bridges and Ruins (Cover Artwork)

Nothington

Nothington: Roads, Bridges and RuinsRoads, Bridges and Ruins (2009)
BYO Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: FuzzyJustin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Nothington starts out Roads, Bridges and Ruins with "A Mistake," picking up right where All In left them: music at a breakneck speed, melancholy lyrics screamed out by singer Jay Northington and propped up by guitarist Chris Matulich and bassist Tony Texeira's harmonies. In case you had thought mayb.
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Nothington starts out Roads, Bridges and Ruins with "A Mistake," picking up right where All In left them: music at a breakneck speed, melancholy lyrics screamed out by singer Jay Northington and propped up by guitarist Chris Matulich and bassist Tony Texeira's harmonies. In case you had thought maybe they had softened up, they haven't. "If You Say So" is a gruff love song to a relationship that sounds like it's on its way out -- it's got the perfect hook with the chorus of "It's nights like these I know I'm on my own."

Chris Matulich first appears on lead vocals halfway through. "Not Looking Down" could be a One Man Army B-side and I think that's fucking awesome. There's that great feeling of reaching your mid-20s and not knowing what the hell is going on and he captures it perfectly in his songs here. There's some razor-sharp lyrics in this song that you're going to have to hear to believe. "Meant to Lose" is another track fronted by Chris that they've been playing live for nearly a year now and it sounds a lot better here on record. Chris's voice sounds great here. His lyrics have also stepped it up a lot this time around, making it feel less like skinned-knee rock and more punk rock.

The band actually takes it a bit slower for a bit of the album. Tracks like "Stop Screaming" slow the tempo down but really raise the intensity in the music. It's an urgent and melancholy ballad pleading for understanding from someone. "Best for Me" has a similar feel. Jay's had a few rough times since recording All In and you can hear it here. He's pissed but he's obviously trying to convince himself and everyone else that he's doing just fine.

One of the many gems of this album is "The Ocean." It starts out full-tilt, all guns blazing. Immediately drops into some rad riffing and and vocal interplay between Northington, Texiera and Matulich. It could just be me but the second this song reached its epic climax I felt a punch to the gut that put me back in the Bay Area -- it somehow captures it perfectly. I love the "whoa-oh"s in the middle of the song that are so perfectly placed to up the ante. And they're combined with some of the most introspective lyrics on the album: "So now you've moved on. Well, I'm still here. You've grown up by now, and I remain queer. We're so cold. Our hearts so dearly need to be sewn. We both are so cold. Lose our decisions to instinct alone. The last ones, the last ones to move on. I love the ocean, 'cause only there do my fears seem small." It's a great song that really sums up the dynamic feeling of the album.

"Sleep Tight" closes the album, opening with some sweet southern riffing and a steady drumbeat underneath nearly spoken vocals that gives it a bizarre resemblance to the closing track on Searching for a Former Clarity. The track builds up over the first two minutes just to drop out into a fairly stripped-down mid-section with Northington's melancholic lyrics being half-spoken, half-sung. The backing vocals courtesy of bassist Tony Texeira and Matulich come in, filling out the song and carrying it for the rest of the track.

Roads, Bridges and Ruins does not fall prey to the common "sophomore slump" that many bands experience. Instead, it finds the band maturing musically and emotionally, drawing on the ups and downs of their lives and the world. The music is an impressive leap that won't leave old fans out in the dark; it's also quite comfortable. It's nice to see people who eat, breathe and bleed punk music make good in such a great way.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Dear Landlord - Dream HomesThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsBanner Pilot - CollapserThe Gaslight Anthem - American SlangNothington - Borrowed TimeNothington - All InThe Flatliners - Cavalcade

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
BrainTrust (September 2, 2011)

easily one of the best in 2009

Marchelo (September 6, 2010)

Best 2009 album IMO

Barmin (July 15, 2010)

One of the best this year.

Dedricthere (April 25, 2010)

"A Mistake" is the one.

exitenglish1208 (February 25, 2010)

how did this make no "best of..." lists, i just discovered it and it pretty much steamrolled its way to the top of mine behind maybe strike anywhere and strung out

burk (January 23, 2010)

there's not a single bad or mediocre song on this record... I'm really becoming fond of these guys!

spoon_of_grimbo (January 6, 2010)

just got this today, why the fuck did i wait so long to get into this band?! this is awesome!

anyone else think that "meant to lose" sounds like the best song that greenday never wrote? the singer even sounds like a ballsier billie-jo armstrong on that one.

VictimOfADriveBy (December 20, 2009)

Great fucking album! Hard to say if it was one of the best of 2009 when there was an avalanche of great music this year. Just buy this album! Standout tracks: Meant To Lose, The Ocean, A Mistake, Stop Screaming.

mahaffie (December 18, 2009)

Nothington is San Francisco's Leatherface, withouth being an ape version of it. This album is definitely on my top 10 for 2009. I mean seeing them all the time here in SF makes me a little bias.

eatyour_face (December 17, 2009)

Vocals can get annoying but otherwise a great album.

insidejoke2 (November 16, 2009)

this band played in my friend's basement two nights ago, and killed it. Such a good set, full of energy and the right kind of emotions. All of this after lots of van troubles all morning. not to mention their music rules too.

someone-yeah (November 2, 2009)

Not Looking Down sounds like an old green day song from back when they were tolerable

mxguy33 (October 29, 2009)

"A Mistake" sounds like a song gaslight wishes they would have written...

Thepopeofchili-town (October 9, 2009)

This is awesome. Tons better than All In. Agree with the review 100%.

kidgotham (October 9, 2009)

"i miss the southern-rock/alt-country influence on the first album but this shit is amazing."

I couldn't have said it any better myself.

TheMike (October 8, 2009)

I like it. A lot.

Blackjaw_ (October 8, 2009)

It's not bad.

Thekissofdeath (October 8, 2009)

Best of 2009!

baldsteve (October 8, 2009)

This thing is perfect. Start to finish incredible.

damnitsderek (October 8, 2009)

I feel like this album is going to be a grower. I like it right now, but I have a sneaking feeling that a month or two down the line I'm not going to be able to stop listening to it.

MaxwellMurder (October 8, 2009)

Album of the year.

kneel (October 8, 2009)

i miss the southern-rock/alt-country influence on the first album but this shit is amazing.

cyanotic (October 7, 2009)

This album rules.

Scarysmurf (October 7, 2009)

Really, really good.
Its somewhere in my top 5 of the year for sure. Probably top 3.

blip (October 7, 2009)

northington!

MN_DrNick (October 7, 2009)

Interesting to hear a little less of that southern/Social D influence compared to All In (which is why I loved it), but love how they're going more for that Bay Area sound on this one. Top Ten of the year.

jaydischord (October 7, 2009)

A very solid album.....melodic yet fairly raw....tip fucking top for sure.

mystery1 (October 7, 2009)

this is my fav album of 2009!

mystery1 (October 7, 2009)

The album is amazing, and for those who are having trouble finding it, I saw you can buy it through hottopic.com as well as interpunk.com :)

ddb43 (October 7, 2009)

READ my comment on the Lucero review. Same goes here.

sporadicpunk (October 7, 2009)

Solid fucking album. I kind of hate the album art though

ashtraymonument (October 7, 2009)

solid shit. pretty bummed I won't be able to see them next weekend, because we're already having a show at my house

MacbethMystery (October 7, 2009)

Very good album. This band deserves more coverage!

saladfingers (October 7, 2009)

This is not just top 10 material, its top 5.

I've been knocked sideways by the albums awesomeness.

Meant to Lose is too damn good for words!!

nocigar (October 7, 2009)

i was anticipating this album SO much, and they totally delivered. i loved All In, and i absolutely cannot get enough of this album. the cover art is fucking awesome too.

Dante3000 (October 7, 2009)

Totally, totally stoked to see these guys tonight. Love the new stuff.
-Dante

party-animal (October 7, 2009)

This album is so fucking good. You totally hit the nail on the head about the last track sounding like against me!. I thought that the first time I heard it. Sounds like Nothington covering an AM! song. The first two songs are amazing and even though I wasn't a huge fan of his songs on All in Chris' songs are awesome.

We get to play with these guys at the end of November, so fucking stoked. Probably still make the trip down to Denver this month to see them at Three Kings.
Score is for album and review, fucking dead on.

Slacker (October 7, 2009)

Great album. Probably seeing them in february

xshoutoutx (October 7, 2009)

Top ten for suuuuuure!!!

'Best for me' is also in my top ten best songs of 09! SO FUCKING SOLID!

Redscare (October 7, 2009)

Dammit, I meant FOUR stars!

Redscare (October 7, 2009)

Always good to see "Chris Matulich" in print!

Good record.

telegraphrocks (October 6, 2009)

EDIT: My score below was from the mood I was in earlier today when listening to this.

I just put it on again right now, and the score is...

telegraphrocks (October 6, 2009)

Man, you've got to be in a specific kind of mood to stand this guy's voice....

misterspike (October 6, 2009)

Broker than broke and payday isn't until next week. I have anxiously awaited this record. I guess another week won't hurt. Call me old-fashioned.

danperrone (October 6, 2009)

this is a pretty good band. they've got a handful of killer songs ("goin' home", "a mistake", "the ocean") but they also have just too many mediocre generic songs for my liking. this one is a step up over their last, but it still doesn't tap into their full potential.

notfeelingcreative (October 6, 2009)

If BYO doesn't wanna do preorders that's fine but the least they can do is have it availible to order the day of release!

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