Do Nothing are defiant on quasi-ballad ‘Moving Target’

Tell you what – I was over the moon when I heard Do Nothing were finally putting out a full length. My old housemate sent me ‘Gangs’ in 2021 on the off chance I might like it and I was an immediate convert, absolutely rinsing follow up EP Glueland ad absurdum. 

What really drew me into the band’s world and kept me there like the neighbour’s cat in your living room was just how distinct they felt from the crowd of similar bands that were forming around them. They definitely felt post-punk, and were aligned with the contemporary explosion in the scene and exponential proliferation of bands in that genre, but were offering something different to the usual speak-singing and large shirt collars. They continue to exist parallel to the scene – involved enough to prompt peer imitation but separate enough to avoid entangling themselves in stagnant genre quicksand.

Of the handful of glimpses into the album we’ve been afforded thus far this is perhaps most evident on ‘Moving Target’. It’s led by a velvety soft piano placed beneath vocalist Chris Bailey’s strikingly longing crooning, before scattered bursts of synth dispel whatever notions such an intro might have instilled. We’re treated to a rich instrumental palette and against this backdrop the vocal melodies twist and turn, rising and falling unexpectedly and evading prediction. This is a microcosm of the band’s real strength – their singular stylistic defiance in all layers of their output – and this is very neatly ensconced by the phrase “snake sideways”, which just so happens to be the name of the album this track is an outrider for. 

But let’s stop gushing. The band sound refreshed and refocused after a quiet 2022, and it’s great to have them back.

Words: Ed Hambly // Photo: Adrian Vitelleschi Cook

‘Moving Target’ is out now via Exact Truth. Do Nothing’s debut album ‘Snake Sideways’ is out June 30th. Pre-order the record via Bandcamp.

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