The idea of a utopia has been a common trope amongst all art forms. It is a fantasy that does not always go to plan, but Dead Club City might be worth visiting.
The UK-based rock band, Nothing But Thieves, has been around for eleven years now with four studio albums under their belt. Their sound airs on the side of being alternative, using both synthesizer and classic rock elements to create a unique sound. It has been three years since their third record Moral Panic, which played with some political content. Dead Club City is political, but it has a story to tell.
The fact that this record has a story is admirable. In summary, the album follows a few people in the city and what they are going through.
The most intriguing story comes when the listener learns about this couple that leaves their hometown for Dead Club City (occurs in “Overcome”). When they arrive, morals go out the window (occurs in “Keeping You Around”). One half of the couple ends up sleeping around, hence the line, “Your lips want anyone else, mine taste like everyone else.” Both people are giving into temptation, and it leads to their downfall. Despite it being fictional characters, this might as well be a real life scenario. It is not unheard of for a couple to start having issues when going to a different stage of their relationship.
Story aside, this record has vibes reminiscent of music from the eighties and Motown. It can be assumed that the band did this intentionally in order to distinguish between the different personalities presented throughout. The real life meanings are not entirely hidden throughout, so even if someone does not understand the concept, it is still relatable to the average person.
One reason someone might not vibe well with the record is if they are a longtime fan of the band and are not a fan of the change in sound. Nothing But Thieves is niche in their music, so some mainstream touches might not appeal.
Aside from that, some tracks are not as strong as others (i.e., “Talking To Myself”) because it does not fit in as well with the others. The song is more solemn, and the lyrics are not as well crafted. That being said, it should be known that the lyrical content is meant to fit in with a character and fits well with said character.
Dead Club City is a concept record that is fun to follow or is just an easy listen. Not everyone will like every song, but at least one will hit close to home.
This record is an 8/10.
“Pop The Balloon”
“Keeping You Around”