When I caught up with William Street Strikers’ vocalist and guitarist Andrew Matters earlier this year, he called their latest album “a real hodgepodge.” As I listened to Nothing’s Going On, I realised just how apt that description was. This album goes on a wide variety of musical directions, yet somehow it all works.
By daring to be different, William Street Strikers ensures this album has plenty of highlights. Nothing sounds samey, as it does on so many records, so each song stands up and demands to be appreciated. I love the easy groove of the album’s title track and opening number “Nothing’s Going On.” The single “Wrong Way Home” is one of the album’s strongest cuts. The horns help to balance the menacing lyrics of “Stalker.” The closing track “No Surrender” is good honest Aussie pub rock, defiant and jubilant in its rebellion with big screaming electric guitars and pounding drums.
Before writing this review, I looked back over what I wrote about William Street Strikers’ last few releases. In 2012, I commented that Keep Left was also an eclectic album, but questioned whether the band might have experimented too much. A year later, with the release of the To the Motel EP, I accused the band of playing it safe. Now, with a few more years of experience under their belt, I feel like they’ve got the balance right. Nothing’s Going On is another very diverse offering from the Adelaide band, but it’s one that somehow remains accessible and cohesive. It takes the listener in different directions without alienating them. It’s a very smart release from this up-and-coming Aussie act.
Nothing’s Going On is released on July 31.