EP Review: Do Nothing – Glueland

Photo: Adrian Vitelleschi Cook

The Nottingham outfit look to expand their sound on EP number 2.

Nottingham outfit Do Nothing have been on something of a tear as of late, with 2020 debut EP Zero Dollar Bill establishing the act as one of the UK’s premiere talents, boasting a sound packed full of personality, considerable charm, and stratospheric hooks. The band look primed to take the world by storm, and 2021 sees the outfit look to cement that idea with the release of EP number 2, Glueland.

The release kicks off with its namesake lead single, one that already feels like vintage Do Nothing, Chris Bailey’s uniquely potent vocals command proceedings, melding seamlessly with it’s intoxicating post-punk-edged instrumentation. The track is Do Nothing at their abrasive, yet impossibly melodic pomp, marrying uncompromising rawness with affable catchiness in a way that shouldn’t really work, but does with an almost dismissive nonchalance.

Following that is the second single and more recent release ‘Uber Alles’. Seeming to pack a bit more mystery than its predecessor, the track swims along Charles Howarth’s side-winding, mesmerising bass lines before settling down into one of the more measured and thoughtful tracks on the release. The track further showcases the outfits expert management of tone and tempo, it feels like whenever you begin to feel comfortable or like you know a Do Nothing track it will get a shot in the arm, or ease off, always expanding and growing, but never losing its melodic cutting edge.

‘Rolex’ sees the outfit continue to really push the boundaries of their sound, with abrupt and often unpredictable Kasper Sandstrom guitars scattered around the rollercoaster of a track. ‘Rolex’ is packed full of jagged timing shifts and surprises, and listen after listen it is easy to find yourself relentlessly pleasantly surprised and perplexed by the track’s unpredictable nature, Do Nothing really demonstrate some of the the immersive and genuinely awe-inspiring heights that their sound can reach here, taking creative risks while never sacrificing an inch of their memorable appeal.

There is some respite in the form of ‘Knives’, a relatively (in comparison) straight-forward track that does the noble job of breaking the EP up. The track lacks none of the outfits signature cutting edge though, and if anything does a stellar job of showing that even without the complex, bending moments, their sound holds up miraculously well just on the basis of how unique and bold it is. The band feel like they have borrowed from sounds like new wave, post-punk and indie rock, but packaged them in a way that feels totally and utterly their own, Glueland joins its predecessor as as another remarkable succinct and glowing advertisement of their idiosyncratic and utterly beguiling sound.

Speaking of idiosyncratic and beguiling, the EP closes with the reaching and adventurous ‘Great White Way’, a more restrained and slow-burning cut from the EP, but always packing that Do Nothing sense of unpredictability and volatility, threatening to spill over into chaos at a moments notice. The track proves to be another captivating success that proves difficult to tear yourself away from.

This EP seems to take the established and much-loved Do Nothing sound and bend it and turn into different avenues throughout its duration, The lyrics are as pointed and on the nose as ever, the performances have an impossibly precise tightness, and the tracks are familiar enough to feel inviting and recognisable but take all that we know about Do Nothing and expand upon it and scale it outwards. While ‘Glueland’ might be the most Do Nothing track that Do Nothing have released to date, tracks like ‘Rolex’ and ‘Great White Way’ feel more subversive and daring, with invariable success. The outfit have this really powerful knack of crafting tracks that feel so unique and different, yet have this Do Nothing DNA at its core, tying it all together and keeping things seamlessly coherent. Glueland is playful and it is deadly serious. It is wildly experimental yet melodic and accessible. It is a paradox, a contradiction, and for our money, it looks set to be one of the standout releases of 2021.

Glueland is out on March 12tth via Exact Truth