Two years ago, I called Up for Nothing “Brooklyn’s best kept secret” and thought it was time to let everyone else in on them. I’m not sure if the rest of Brooklyn really got the memo. Also two years ago, the band released the acoustic EP, Responses, highlighting the band’s knack for strong melodies and songwriting, as well as highlighting the need for them to no longer be a well guarded secret. Now, in 2016, their latest album, Swindled, brings back the band’s signature, hardcore-tinged style without sacrificing the musicality that makes their songs so catchy, and it’s damn time that you open your ears to hear them.
Although the band’s current line up has been in place for awhile now, Swindled marks their first full length album together. It might have felt like a long wait, but in the end it was worth it because it is a smooth album- everything falls right into place, and any signs of rough edges that come with a membership shift have been sanded down. On a handful of tracks, not-so-new-anymore guitarist Josh Gaon sings lead alongside front-man Justin Conigliaro as if Up for Nothing has always been a two singer band. Everything about the album just feels right, marking the logical next step from the band’s 2013 EP, In Trance.
Like all good punk albums, Swindled features exactly zero out of fourteen songs that break the 3 minute mark (a few come close), bringing its total run time to just under a half hour. This is no nonsense punk rock, Up for Nothing avoids experimentation with ballads, they don’t try mixing and matching other genres, and if any of their members are Springsteen fans, they sure don’t let it bleed into their music here. So, you want in on a secret? Check out Swindled by Up for Nothing, then tell all your friends to do the same.
4 / 5 – Listen up, listen loud, and listen multiple times below.
RIYL: Dear Landlord, Banner Pilot, Chinese Telephones