Nothington - All In (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


All In (2007)


In the opening track of All In, Nothington's Jay Northington bellows out "I know exactly where I stand" and I have to say that he's got a point. For a band's freshman release you can't help but be impressed with their mix of punk rock, southern rock 'n' roll and infectious melody that would sound just as at home on No Idea, sandwiched between Gunmoll and Hot Water Music as it does on BYO's roster.

Following the previously mentioned opening track, "Bottom Line" screeches along with verses and chorus that sound interestingly similar to something you'd expect from Social Distortion, a band who is frighteningly well-channeled in the track "Sell Out" later on. In fact, it sounds almost as if the boys from Nothington snuck into the Mr. Ness's house one night and stole some demos. If there's a rough patch to the album, it could be this song -- I happen to enjoy it immensely but I can see a listener finding such a similarity offputting.

The surprise of the album comes five tracks in with Chris Matulich's vocal debut on the album. Having spent time in Enemy You, Matulich brings out a lighter side to the music in "Awake for Days." His clean vocals contrast with Northington's, breaking the album up at an opportune time. Tracks 7-10 offer a barrage of quality: Leading with the slightly melancholy "This Time Last Year" (a cover of one of the member's former bands) followed by the driving duet with former Tsunami Bomb bandmate and vocalist Emily Whitehurst in "Last Time," the album picks up with "This Means War." The song features some great vocal back-and-forth between Northington and Matulich and easily best represents their live show: rough, raw and catchy. "Where Is This Going?" ends the raucous part of the album complete with "whoa-oh"s.

The band closes the album with an acoustic number that sadly will likely never see live performance. "Death of Jim Green" closes the album just right, letting your brain relax a bit and take in the last half-hour or so. While the band is breaking no new ground with their tried and true mixture of southern punk rock and roll forged by bands like Gunmoll and Ann Beretta, they've managed to carve out a niche all their own. The great thing about a band like this is that the whole affair feels so familiar. All In feels like your mom took your blankie from your childhood and requilted it -- comforting and secure but with surprises in store and hidden potential.

Stream All In at the Nothington band profile