We review the new album from Nothing But Real – Lost in the World
French Alternative Electro band, Nothing But Real’s new album is an intense dive into a stylistic concept album that reinvents itself continually over the course of it’s run time.
The Arrival is a cold open of sorts, presenting a conversation between two strangers meeting in a strange place. With minimal musical input, there’s not much to say, beyond it’s interesting scene setting feel.
Instead it leads us into Snake Eyes, a blistering rock anthem that takes plenty of classic cues from alt rock outfits. It’s a strong opening and showcases the various band members talent in excellent form. With fantastic drumming that’s filled with cymbal crashes, giving a nice rhythm that a bit more chaotic than a more traditional heavy pounding of drums. Alongside guitars that are intensely powerful and full of attitude that never let up for a second.
Behind The Door is a much more low key track that eases us more into Nothing But Real’s stylistic choices after a fast paced opener. With a more ambient feel, opening with subtle bass that leads into a mysterious and quiet guitar chord that just gives a feel of creepiness to the track. Utilising the slower pace, the track leaves a lot of notes lingering, reflecting the song’s themes of anticipation greatly. The cherry on top is the blink and you’ll miss it backing vocals that whisper gently at certain points to just add to the creepy
The next track follows up excellently, Here I am. Following on perfectly as the subject waiting ‘behind the door’ reveals themselves. The vibe here is melancholic and disturbing in just the right way. Mixing an intense alt rock track with a stylistically saddening ballad in a complex way that works. Flowing between slightly off kilter bridges and intense rock moments within the chorus gives it an intense attitude that’s only really describable to those who have heard it. The clever use of the same chord in different styles within the chorus and the bridges melds it together greatly, and just showcases how Nothing But Real can blend genres on the fly to great effect.
Music Box is a brief interlude, one that is exactly that. A haunting music box tune that gives way to a guitar mimicking the tune perfectly on the next track.
After a brief moment of silence, Strike picks up on Music Box’s tune in a hard and distorted guitar. Distortion is the name of the game for Strike, utilising it in all aspects, altering every element of the song just slightly to give it a heavy sound that’s beautiful. Despite the heaviness of the track, the bridge once again shifts into a more feeling moment. This then gives way to a guitar solo which collapses into the closing moments. It’s this amazing transitionary period of the song that is Strike’s greatest strength. One that is a real powerful, and beautiful moment that just strikes home the talent of the band.
Scars and Burdens brings in the electro side of the bands repertoire in its opening in quite an intense and powerful way. This builds into yet another strong rock track that lets the notes hang whilst the vocals do their job fantastically. We’re once again treated treated to a melancholic track that’s possibly the most intense on the track thus far. The incorporation of both electro elements and a touch of orchestral moments at some points is what really sells the track.
In The Deep is yet another transitory track, one that’s a coupling of slow paced guitar mixed with tribal drums and chimes. Incorporating sitar and bass in a more indigenous feeling track is reminiscent of some more experimental bands.
Untold opens with what is possibly the heaviest moment on the album, with guitars that border on metal and some electro elements once again. The intensity of it is dialled up to eleven in this song, an all out attack from every front the band has. With every element and style showcased on the album so far, both from the genre mixing, and the tribal acoustics, whispered backing vocals, metal guitars, and intense drums. It’s a showcase of how much the band can fold into one song when they’re firing on every cylinder possible.
The next track is Doom, and it folds in an intense electro beat that lasts much longer than previous tracks. Rather than giving way to the alt rock trappings, it instead remains and acts as a nice backing to the track. Despite this, Doom doesn’t live up to the heights of Untold. This isn’t to say it’s not a fantastic track, but following the best track on the album is a hard act to follow. It’s kept interesting by its fantastic guitar solo and continuation of the band’s all around strong presence.
The title track, Lost In The World, is the penultimate song, and it just never lets the album slow down for a second. This time we’re treated to a gentler track that’s got some much gentler twangs and possibly the best vocals on the album. It even acts as a dive into prog territory, collapsing downwards into this beautiful spiral. The song is constantly evolving across its runtime, and is a fantastic showcase as a single in itself. It almost perfectly showcases what the album is all about and what there is to expect. Along with an extended instrumental segment that’s complete with a guitar solo, it tops off the album perfectly.
Resolution is exactly that, it resolves the story that the album is telling, concluding the conversation of the two voices we heard on the opening track. There’s a slightly sinister tinge to one of the voices. Exclaiming ‘I really like it here’ before breaking down into menacing laughter. It leaves a chill going up the spine of the listener and just tops off the dark odyssey that they’ve just been taken on.
Overall, Lost in the World has got to be one of the strongest showings of a concept album done to date. Bringing in so many different elements and genres across its relatively short 35 minute runtime. It’s amazing how much ground Nothing But Real covers in that time, never wasting a second or leaving the listener without something interesting to hear. It’s truly a masterpiece of an album that could be described as essential listening for any rock fans.