The New Nostalgia write “I was frustrated that time and time again people were using nostalgia as a creative crutch instead of trying something new.” – every ounce of this is valid but “Nothing is New” lifts songwriting clichés from all over the place. The faux-punk 90s brattishness of a pick slide introduces the main riff – a Led Zeppish bounce. There’s some busy mid ’00s indie hi-hat work, some Oi-Punk-esque gang vocals, an obligatory pre-chorus pause-for-effect – A convenient gap where someone may or may not jump in the air – god forbid. All the old tricks.
My issue here is that you can’t quite tell if this is self-aware, Are the ‘Woah-oh-ohs’ in this middle eight a tongue-in-cheek poke at a Punk cliché or a sincere crowd-rousing incitement? Is the furiously panned lead guitar that backs it up a prod at the masturbatory 80s guitar solo? A piss-take? Maybe by a stretch of the imagination “Nothing is New” – I stress on the title – is an artful exercise in brilliantly executed sarcasm. It may, however, happen to be the exact thing it decries.
Disparities aside – this is no-frills, basic indie punk with a pop sensibility. Good old fashioned meat and potato indie rock. Production is safe and could do with either load’s more frills – or substantially fewer frills to make it interesting. There are some great crashing cymbals here and the performance is tight – if not a little subdued. Vocal melodies are lifted straight from the indie songbook and are effortlessly singalong, Nothing Is New feels like it has been explicitly designed for a live crowd to react against and to predict the next note sung.
The sentiment and heart of Nothing is New is in the right place. The New Nostalgia have the intention and means to go against the grain, they should be doing it for the good of the scene. The fun paint-by-numbers approach doesn’t deliver the anger promised by their bio but a strong performance will no doubt ensure that this will be excellent live dance-fodder.