Review: Do Nothing – ‘Snake Sideways’: An Open, Intelligent and Moving Collection of Songs

Since Nottingham’s suited and booted, Do Nothing, waltzed onto the post-punk scene with effortless panache, you’d be hard-pressed to find a band who could match their oil-slick style or lavish lyrical substance. Caught in the trappings of their own success, the four-piece have opted for a more no-frills approach to their debut record. Ditching the bells and whistles for an introvertedly interrogative songwriting methodology, the outcome is an open, intelligent, and moving collection of toe-tapping songs.

Setting the tone from the off set, ‘Nerve’ jumps right in with the unsettling notion that; “they’re gonna fire you in the morning”. With frank frontman Chris Bailey’s melodic vocals taking centre stage, we are lulled with ease into his sermon of discontent. Turning up the tempo, strutting guitars dress up the sinister undertones of lead single ‘Happy Feet’. With sirening synths signalling the start of title track ‘Snake Sideways’, the band find firm footing in discordant drums and newfound experimentation.

Like and alluring call to a cult, epic choral vocals soar above agitated percussion on ‘Fine’. Finding their stride in urgent expression, Interpol-esque hooks drive the melody of the next track ‘Ivy’. Harking back to Bailey’s bulging back pocket of sharp metaphors and dry wit, ‘Hollywood Learn’ is an emphatic reminder that Do Nothing know how to conjure up a visual frenzy.

Sparing embellishments on ‘The Needle’, repeated “halleluiah”s and jagged-edged riffs sees the four-piece laid bare, both raw and earnest in delivery. Reigning themselves in on the preened and polished exploit ‘Amoeba’, we’re reminded that the midland lads remain front runners of their post-punk contemporaries. Mirroring the harmonious cacophony of ‘Moving Target’ with the LP’s strident political closer ‘Sunshine State’, the band have unearthed layers of depth and honesty that were previously left untouched.

Shattering the walls of the glass house that kept Do Nothing a cut above the rest, we have found a band that are willingly vulnerable, humble, pensive, provoking, and honest to their core. Can we have more of this please?

‘Snake Sideways’ is out now via Exact Truth. Grab your copy / Listen here.

We chat to Do Nothing inside of Issue Forty-Three of So Young. Pick up a copy here.

The new issue of So Young is out now. Grab a copy in print here or read the digital edition below.