Yes, Nothington is composed of Jay Northington and Gabe Lindmen, two members of the now defunct Tsunami Bomb. Yes, they do account for half of the band. And yes, they did receive a rather large amount of praise for their work in the southern Californian pop-punk band; but no, Nothington sounds nothing like the band’s predecessor. In fact, if it wasn’t for the bio and occasional news clips you would have no idea that the two bands had anything in common at all. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is something you have to decide for yourself, but one thing for certain is that if you go into All Inexpecting a sugary, pop-punk album, you’ll be sorely mistaken.
Instead, Northington and Lindmen have taken a complete 360 spin with their sound with Nothington. Yes, there’s still some melodic elements in the guitar work, but that’s pretty much the only similarity. Instead, the band went for a more underground sound. A harsher output, with growling vocals that sound as if they’ve been pulled through a grater numerous times – something vastly different than Agent M’s voice on Tsunami Bomb. Although, I will say that the two songs where Agent M makes an appearance, Going Home and Last Time, are highlights. Her more melodic and smoother voice in the background perfectly complements Northington’s gruff delivery.
Still, it is within the harshness of the vocals that the band’s identity is really formed. Pulling in influences from the likes of Lucero, Leatherface, Tom Waits, and Against Me!, Nothington are ready to be a band that will be talked about greatly in the underground without ever going soft and breaking into the mainstream.
They are melodic, energetic and rough, with passionate and emotional vocals delivered in a constant tone throughout. But that, in a way, is what really hurts the album too. While the songs are strong enough to survive on their own and most are worthy of multiple plays, together they start to blend into one another. There is rarely something that really makes the tracks stand out and take control of the album. That, of course, is a disappointment. The album is strong, the vocals are perfect, the guitar work is fantastic, but there’s not enough originality between the songs to really grab hold of the listener.
It’s one of those albums that you’ll always be able to pull out and play in it’s entirety. It’s solid, nothing wrong with it sonically, and will keep you entertained while you listen to it. But the problem is that once you’re done listening to it, you’ll soon forget about it; and despite being able to pull it out four months down the road and still thoroughly enjoy the Lucero-esque melodies, you probably won’t remember to pull it out. Maybe it’s the fact that the vocals are normally pretty difficult to decipher (a lyrics sheet in the artwork would’ve been appreciated), or maybe it’s just something else, but whatever it is, you can tell that All In will, in the end, be forgettable.