By Zach Hester
I came across Wallows, the three-piece band of 13 Reasons Why’s Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters, and Cole Preston, during one of those late night YouTube black holes where you fall into the Internet and just get deeper until you finally close the laptop and go to bed.
I clicked on the video for the band’s lead single from this record Nothing Happens and I’ve been inseparable from their sound ever since. That track, “Are You Bored Yet?” features fellow up-and-comer Clairo on vocals with Minnette. It glides along from the previous track “Sidelines.” Both songs chronicle uncertainty in a new relationship.
The 80s-style indie rock vibe that the majority of these songs is a welcome transition from the band’s previous 2018 extended play, Spring. The first song “Only Friend” is a great change of sound to start off this record.
Nothing Happens feels like a record that you should be dancing to barefoot on the beach. It’s got that Southern California feeling with songs that poke fun at themselves like “Scrawny” to “Treacherous Doctor”, which is a more intense song with dark lyrics and happy music that can be described in that meme of the two houses that’s been going around (check on Twitter if you haven’t seen it.)
The dual lead vocalist aspect of the band does throw things off a little bit if you aren’t ready for it, but both Minnette and Lemasters bring their own style to the table. Minnette’s songs have more of a Beach Boys, laid back aura that compliments his lower vocal register while Lemasters’ bright voice is more intense and evokes a bigger emotional reaction. It’s really hard to just sit down and compare the two.
I consider Wallows to be my greatest musical of 2019 so far and this record proves that point. It’s got a wide range of genres in its short runtime and plenty of potential breakout songs with the right push behind them. I’ve got another early contender for Album of the Year with this one.
Best Songs: I’m Full, Are You Bored Yet?, Treacherous Doctor