From Nothing to Nothing 4.7/5 BARKS.*
When I brushed the depression dust off my shoulders and rubbed the self-deprecating gunk from my eyes, I finally opened up the email from Scalise drummer Ben Schwartz. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know if I was about to open up an album from a band that had no business releasing their album, or if I would open an album that focused on screaming fatherless obscenities into a First Act Microphone.
What I actually got was a delightful mid-aughts sound, lyrically forward hat tip to what your friends should be telling you. Or should they? I don’t know. I’m not the best example…I literally still own a beer bong.
Scalise succeeds at what a lot of alt-folk bands seem to not be able to tap into…the ability to produce good music AND mature lyrics that don’t make it seem like you’re listening to the latest instrumental experiment, or teenage misunderstanding of the world painted as a pure existential crisis.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for experimental music, and even existential, outrageous emotional lyrics. I just think so many groups strive to be “different” so badly that they wind up alienating listeners or even worse…creating a sound people are genuinely disinterested in.
While their album From Nothing to Nothing was released in 2020, It maintains mostly relevant musically. They took care in producing this album, it’s the only one on their streaming pages (for the love of christ…release more music.), and yet its also incredibly well done and mastered.
Now, on to the important stuff…Scalise’s track Kerosene was by far my favorite, on an album full of favorites. The music felt slightly dated, but as mentioned above the quality of the lyrics makes up for anything superficial in the sense of outdated music. While I think we’re on the brink of a resurgance in Mid-Aughts-Folk-Alt I worry the average listener wont provide the allowance Scalise deserves.
*We rate and review all music on a scale of one (1) to five (5). 1 being “NO!” and 5 being, “YES!” It’s hard to get a 5. We’re really picky. We also get a lot of flack for it. Stop that. We have feelings.