ARTIST: NOTHING,NOWHERE. X TRAVIS BARKER
LABEL: FUELED BY RAMEN
WORDS: JAMES HOLDER
Nothing, nowhere. and Travis Barker might not have been the collaboration that you thought you needed, but ‘Bloodlust’ spectacularly demonstrates how very wrong you were. Across six genre defying tracks of varying depths of despair, Emo Rap’s future and the Pop Punk legend serve up a masterclass.
Nothing, nowhere. (real name Joe Mulherin) who grew up idolising Barker describes working with his hero as “some of the most fun I’ve had making music. It was just an organic process…” and this shines through in the record itself. The whole project just sounds so incredibly natural and effortless. That’s not to say that it’s some easy listening or a relaxing listen, because that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Across six genre defying tracks of varying depths of despair, Emo Rap’s future and the Pop Punk legend serve up a masterclass”
Toxic relationships, depression, love, anxiety and downright despair are all touched on and explored in painfully frank and honest terms. The Foxborough, Massachusetts native has been incredibly open about his own struggles with anxiety and depression and he continues to hide absolutely nothing here, especially on closing track ‘Life Eater.’ While not being uplifting in a traditional sense, this EP’s motivational impact could be immeasurable. ‘True Love,’ ‘Beautiful Life,’ and ‘Back2You’ featuring Blackbear don’t offer answers, but what they do show is that if you’re struggling, you’re not alone. And for health problems that can feel so isolating and paralysing the effect of those words could be huge.
Unlike on some of his other collaborations down the years Barker has very much adopted a less is more policy this time around. Make no mistake, his tattooed fingerprints are all over this record but he doesn’t overpower it. He complements, rather than dominates. To borrow a little wrestling terminology, he knows as the veteran it’s his job to put over the new guy and make him look as good as possible and that’s exactly what he does. Helping to craft a soundscape which blurs the lines between genres and styles with effortless abandon and incredible skill.
“Warm and fuzzy, yet uncomfortably honest, ‘Bloodlust’ will mean a million different things to a million different people”
Nothing, nowhere. isn’t an Emcee in the traditional hip-hop sense, but while dipping in and out of rap throughout, he proves he’s so much more than that. ‘True Love’ and ‘Back2You’ might lean more heavily into hip-hop but it’s the shades of Pop Punk, Emo, Trap and Lo-Fi Indie that make ‘Bloodlust’ such a compelling listen. No two tracks are the same, and while the EP doesn’t reinvent the wheel, the duo seem determined to move the game forwards.
Warm and fuzzy, yet uncomfortably honest, ‘Bloodlust’ will mean a million different things to a million different people. But what isn’t up for debate is the EP’s quality. Nothing, nowhere. is surely destined for bigger things, and with Travis Barker riding shotgun, those bigger things might be coming sooner rather than later.