Album Review: Nothing More, The Stories We Tell Ourselves

By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy

Back in 2013, I attended Adrenaline Mob’s show at the Roxy, in Los Angeles, Calif., with my old friend Tyler Griffith. There were two groups that opened up for them, that just blew my mind away. One of them was a group called Blackmore, who unfortunately is no longer around. The other was a 4 piece group out of San Antonio, Texas. What made them unique in the rock scene, was their performance. It was like watching a Cirque du Soleil, with heavy grooves for music. Drums flying through the air, while beating them, a stand to put the bass on, and go nuts on it, this rock ‘n’ roll circus call themselves Nothing More. From watching them play, to listening to their songs, I knew that these guys were destined for greatness. Now, the masters of alternative metal and hard rock, have released their newest masterpiece, The Stories We Tell Ourselves. I am ready to hear how they have evolved, since seeing them 4 years ago, at the Roxy.

I am going to get right down to it, and just say that Johnny Hawkins is one of my favorite vocalists of modern rock today. He has this incredible transition, where one minute he is singing in a smooth, melodic voice, then next thing you know, he goes berserk in the mic, as evidenced in “Ripping Me Apart.” The energy he gives off with each song is staggering. Nothing More is able add some hip-hop beats, to give certain songs a heavy, yet trippy flow, like in “Don’t Stop.” Guitarist Mark Vollelunga adds fire, when he picks each riff. He has no filter; he just knows how the flow of each guitar part goes. He is full of talent. Bassist Daniel Oliver, has the talent that can match that of Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers. He can bring the funky, as well as the heaviness and progressiveness. This is the first album to feature Ben Anderson on drums, and he fills in nicely with Nothing More. He thrashes about every time his sticks hit the snares and cymbals.

Most of their songs have a social conscience; they make you think about the emotions and elements that affect our daily lives. In the song, “Do You Really Want It,” they explore the problem with change. Nothing More hits it on the head, when they say that people want to change the world, but they do not want to change themselves. Those are some powerful lyrics. They also survey love (“Still In Love”), manipulation (“Let’em Burn”), and believing in one’s self (“Don’t Stop”). Their first single, “Go to War,” has been tearing up the Billboard charts, and it was recently nominated for Best Hard Rock Song, for the Loudwire Music Awards. The one song that really hits me to my core, is their closer “FadeInFadeOut.” Written after the birth of Vollelunga’s baby, it is about how when new life enters, an old life begins to fade away.

From the heavy progression, to the subtle ballads, Nothing More crafts a work of art with The Stories We Tell Ourselves. I always believed that they were going to make it to the top. Like their previously released Nothing More, 18 songs went into this album, and each has its own message of positivity. Every member puts their own unique blend of musicianship into this incredible record. It is easily one of my Top 20 picks of 2017. If you readers ever listened to their songs or caught them live, in the past, then I can assure you, that you will not be disappointed with their latest offering. I am sure these  new songs sound just as good live, as recorded, if not better. To Nothing More, I salute you. Horns up!!! 9.5/10

The Stories We Tell Ourselves
1. (Ambition; Destruction)
2. Do You Really Want It
3. (Convict; Divide)
4. Let ’em Burn
5. Ripping Me Apart
6. Don’t Stop
7. Funny Little Creatures
8. (React; Respond)
9. The Great Divorce
10. Still In Love
11. (Alone; Together)
12. Go to War
13. Just Say When
14. (Accept; Disconnect)
15. Who We Are
16. Tunnels
17. (End; Begin)
18. FadeInFadeOut

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