Wallows is an American indie rock band that consists of guitar and vocal leaders Braeden Lemasters and Dylan Minnette alongside drummer Cole Preston. These three have been performing with one another throughout most of the past decade under different names and have actively produced songs as Wallows for two years, starting with the 2017 single “Pleaser” and last year’s EP titled “Spring.”
On March 22, Wallows released its first studio LP, “Nothing Happens.” This new album ties in some new sounds from the band along with similar-sounding vibes from previous songs.
“Nothing Happens” is one of the strongest albums I have heard in a long time. The 11-track collection offers up a natural indie rock sound throughout every piece, and creates a flow from song to song that makes it easy to just sit back and go through the whole album without even noticing.
The album begins with “Only Friend,” a strong and somber piece that leads with long vocals from Minnette and is backed by powerful rifts on the guitar and steady beats from the drums. The song ends but flawlessly transitions into the second song, “Treacherous Doctor,” through a chord progression on the guitar. This album has the greatest examples of songs that are amazing in their own right, yet when played back to back enhances the experience as the songs flow from the end of one into the other.
Wallows does an amazing job of passing the lead vocals from its two singers. Minnette has a lower tone, and can hit the lyrics harder, which leads the somber songs to really connect and the more rocking tunes to feel more intense. Lemasters, on the other hand, can reach the higher octave, and he’s a little smoother in his lyrics, allowing him to make things work perfectly with the guitar on more chill and lyrical pieces.
Then there are songs like “Remember When.”
“Remember When” is not only the greatest example of the two lead singers vocally blending into near perfection, but I believe it to also be the best song on the LP. “Remember When” is about the struggles of dealing with lost love and lost opportunity as someone you care for pulls away from the relationship. The song starts with a beautiful scale from the guitar, and is backed by a powerful drum beat. Then Minnette comes in with the first verse, and it hits hard, following with a repeated guitar scale as Lemasters transitions in with a slightly higher second verse. Then they join together to ring in the chorus, and chant before returning to the lone guitar scale. Minnette strings in a held-out bridge, and the singers join in a final chorus to end this best song on the album.
“Remember When” brings out the feelings of falling out of love yet wanting to hold on to what was there. The connected vocals of the two leads truly make this an amazing piece.
“Nothing Happens” is one of the best beginning LPs from a new band I have ever heard. With the vocals and guitars bouncing from Lemasters to Minnette flawlessly, and with Preston controlling the drum fills tightly, this is probably the best album to emerge out of this this still quite young year.
Wallows brings out a bombastic indie rock sound that music lovers can either jam in the car with or use to let the out their feelings in a heavy time. “Nothing Happens” truly is one of a kind.