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Nothington - Borrowed Time Album Cover

Nothington - Borrowed Time

Reviewed by
8.0
Nothington - Borrowed Time
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Record Label: Red Scare
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
For most bands, the momentous third LP is even harder to write than the sophomore record. While with the second album, everyone tries to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump, the third record can often predict the longevity of a band. It can lead to a band breaking up; it can also lead to unprecedented success. Luckily for San Francisco punk group Nothington, it seems as though their third effort, Borrowed Time, is their best foot being put forward.

Their debut on Red Scare, Borrowed Time is a story of a band finding its true niche. While earlier releases were slightly dominated by a Social Distortion influence – and while that influence is still certainly felt on this release – there is a feeling of a weight being lifted. Like Nothington is walking around a little lighter, perhaps with a little more confidence. Take the first half of the record – yes, the entire first half, it rules – from the head-bobbing opener “Captive Audience” to the catchiest song on the album, “Where I Can’t Be Found,” to the slightly slower “End of the Day” – there is certainly something for everyone from the straightforward punk fan to the pop-punk kid to all of those peoples’ girlfriends.

In what is sure to be a few more run-on sentences, I will now tell you things I like about Borrowed Time. First off, it’s obvious here that two minds are better than one. By that I mean, two vocalists are better than one vocalist – at least the way Nothington play. The songs feel whole, and the vocal tradeoffs are just perfect – and, returning to that mention of confidence, there is a sense of strength in the vocals that wasn’t quite as apparent on previous releases. While you could categorize Nothington into the gruff punk shelf of your vinyl collection, there is a certain accessibility here – just listen to the chorus of “Where I Can’t Be Found” and try to get, “I just want to lay my head down / I just wanna know I’m safe and sound / I’ll head downtown where I belong,” out of your head. The accessibility is perhaps where Nothington departs from some of its peers and enters the fold of the Against Me!s and Red City Radios and may the Riot Befores (and I just reviewed that Nightlights album, this is not far from that tree) of the world. But I won’t just stop there – Nothington is probably better than all of those bands whose names don’t include an exclamation point.

“St. Andrews Hall” is another certain standout, especially on the b-side of the album, which in my opinion is slightly less awesome. “Don't Have To Wait” and “Ordinary Lives” is a solid one-two anchor near the end, and as the record wraps up and the Nothington section of my iTunes transitions to the Notorious B.I.G. section of my iTunes, I find myself constantly resisting the urge to listen to Ready To Die for the rest of my life and instead, I begin Borrowed Time again.

Nothington are tiptoeing a very fine line here. That’s the line between a record that feels like a holistic album and a record that finds itself with songs that bleed into each other. With two vocalists, some pretty damn good guitar work and just enough change in tempo, Borrowed Time’s 33 minutes doesn’t feel forced at all. Future releases will hopefully see the band continue to stretch their talents and expand their horizons into unchartered territory. But Borrowed Time is so good that I guess Nothington could, um, borrow my, um, time again, if they wanted. Yeesh. Regardless of that pun and assuming you’re still reading this review, I would highly suggest you listen to this album. It’s a heck of a good punk rock record and it’s right up there for me in this genre with Red City Radio and Banner Pilot’s LPs this year.

8/10

Recommended If You LikeBanner Pilot, Red City Radio, Against Me!, The Riot Before, Nightlights
Bare Essentials01. Captive Audience
02. Where I Can't Be Found
03. Far To Go
04. End Of The Day
05. To Hold On
06. The Escapist
07. St. Andrews Hall
08. Hopeless
09. Don't Have To Wait
10. Ordinary Lives
11. I Should Say
Purchase
 
Displaying posts 1 - 13 of 13
02:02 AM on 12/15/11
#2
InfiniteArms
Oh, the places you'll go!
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Hit the nail right on the head, Thomas. Great review.
06:17 AM on 12/15/11
#3
Yogey
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One of the best punk rock albums of the year. Big surprise
07:42 AM on 12/15/11
#4
Rodeo
010101101010110111001
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Agreed, fucking awesome record.
09:17 AM on 12/15/11
#5
prefix-core
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I know this is a nit-picky thing, and I'm sure no harm was meant by it but it's sexist to infer that for a girl to be a fan of these bands that she would have to be the girlfriend of a fan of punk rock and/or pop-punk. To quote Polar Bear Club: "The girls I know wouldn't think so." Not cool.

Regardless, this is a great record. The dual vocals definitely and slightly more varied tempos help things to not feel stale (although, they could have used another slower jam or two to even things out) even by the records end, which tends to be a problem for bands like this.
09:45 AM on 12/15/11
#6
AP_Punk
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I know this is a nit-picky thing, and I'm sure no harm was meant by it but it's sexist to infer that for a girl to be a fan of these bands that she would have to be the girlfriend of a fan of punk rock and/or pop-punk. To quote Polar Bear Club: "The girls I know wouldn't think so." Not cool.

Regardless, this is a great record. The dual vocals definitely and slightly more varied tempos help things to not feel stale (although, they could have used another slower jam or two to even things out) even by the records end, which tends to be a problem for bands like this.
all of this.
09:57 AM on 12/15/11
#7
brandnewsheep
Walking Is Still Honest
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I know this is a nit-picky thing, and I'm sure no harm was meant by it but it's sexist to infer that for a girl to be a fan of these bands that she would have to be the girlfriend of a fan of punk rock and/or pop-punk. To quote Polar Bear Club: "The girls I know wouldn't think so." Not cool.

Regardless, this is a great record. The dual vocals definitely and slightly more varied tempos help things to not feel stale (although, they could have used another slower jam or two to even things out) even by the records end, which tends to be a problem for bands like this.
Seconded.
10:18 AM on 12/15/11
#8
mht
.
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I know this is a nit-picky thing, and I'm sure no harm was meant by it but it's sexist to infer that for a girl to be a fan of these bands that she would have to be the girlfriend of a fan of punk rock and/or pop-punk. To quote Polar Bear Club: "The girls I know wouldn't think so." Not cool.

Regardless, this is a great record. The dual vocals definitely and slightly more varied tempos help things to not feel stale (although, they could have used another slower jam or two to even things out) even by the records end, which tends to be a problem for bands like this.
lol
11:16 AM on 12/15/11
#9
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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Welp.
11:41 AM on 12/15/11
J.Dick
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This might be my favorite record this year...maybe the new Samiam though.
11:58 AM on 12/15/11
prefix-core
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This might be my favorite record this year...maybe the new Samiam though.

Nothington is up there, but not my #1. New Samiam is phenomenal too--far better than anticipated!
12:46 PM on 12/15/11
drudo182
You Are Not Alone
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Doesn't touch their first two but still a solid album. They need more buzz on here.
07:49 AM on 12/17/11
Modern Leper
what?
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Nothington is nowhere near as good as The Riot Before. You crazy.

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