After ten years of collaborating their talents, alternative rock band, Wallows, has finally released their first album titled, “Nothing Happens.” The band is made up of childhood friends Braeden Lemasters, Cole Preston and Dylan Minnette; Lemasters and Minnette share roles as singers and guitar players while Preston performs on the drums. Wallows, perfectly embodying their band name, makes music that allows listeners to wallow in their emotions, whether it be of sadness, happiness or ones they themselves cannot understand as they enter new phases of life.
The album’s title, “Nothing Happens” toys with the idea of the pursuit of undying and unrealistic childhood dreams without their translation into the real world. One can try and try and try, but nothing happens. This album defeats that mentality. It supports that the fabric of one’s thoughts sews together one’s passion with reality. Lemasters, Preston and Minnette defied the unsatisfying expectation that nothing would ever come of their music and band, that nothing would ever happen with it. Ironically, everything happens on “Nothing Happens.”
“Nothing Happens” follows emotionally and mentally uncomfortable transition between adolescence and adulthood. The album enlivens the nostalgia that characterizes growing up. It elaborates on the natural reminiscence and also respect for one’s childhood whilst encouraging the preparation and mental readiness to seek a better future.
The album explores the psychological conflict between the comfort of the familiarity of one’s past and the desire for an unknown destiny that has yet to be discovered. Childhood can only live on as a memory in order to step into adulthood; however, this is extraordinarily difficult and unfortunately overwhelming.
Some songs even speak of the past with sorrow and confusion, yet these negative feelings do not outweigh the fear of the unpredictable future. “Nothing Happens” elaborates on the common unmet necessity for a growing adolescent to know that the mysteries of their futures are better than the realities of their pasts.
One of the greatest, defining qualities of this album is its flow. Each song melts into the next, creating a beautiful music-driven emotional journey that ends before the listener can notice the last song has finished. This parallels with the quickness of childhood, not recognizing its passing until after it has gone and one is left to cling on to select memories that stick out. This allows the audience to, in a sense, grow up with the songs as they mature from “Nothing Happens” beginning to end.
“Only Friend” opens “Nothing Happens” with deep contrast between its upbeat instrumental base and crestfallen lyrics. The song focuses on the feelings that accompany a fading friendship; one person is ready to move on whilst the other, attached to the relationship, hugs the memory of that friend. Life seems to change as the people around you do and, whether or not you are ready, you must adapt.
The final song of the album, “Do Not Wait,” also plays with the title, encouraging the lack of hesitation all the while addressing its inevitable presence. The song expresses that bad circumstances will arise, but life goes on and, in the end, nothing happens. Just as one has survived difficult experiences in the past, they can survive the ones that will approach them in adulthood. They may present themselves as more complex or terrifying, and it may take time to overcome, but this song promises you will prevail and eventually make it to the other, kinder side of life, “I’ll be there.” “Do Not Wait” is beautifully haunting and leaves the audience with a taste of sorrow and contentment at the same time, similar to the emotions felt when accepting the end of one’s childhood.
Wallows stopped at Washington D.C.’s 9:30 Club to share their momentous album with a roaring crowd. The show, featuring select songs from their first EP, “Spring,” and most recent creation, “Nothing Happens,” pleased both old and new fans as they unified to support the trio. Wallows presents an unforgettable show, perfectly displaying the emotions behind each song. The lighting during the concert played an extraordinary role in contributing to this, echoing the songs with distinct brightness, darkness and, at times, pauses to reflect the feelings associated with each lyric.
The stage presence of Wallows is inimitable. Minette allows the music to course through his veins and dictate his dances. Lemasters plays off of the energy of the crowd, making the concert experience individual for each concert-goer. Preston, maintaining the foundation of each song, adds his own commentary and flair from his drum set.
Watching them perform, one can immediately tell Wallows love what they do. Their passion is undeniable and something they have grown up with and harvested as they’ve matured. Their music embodies the power of a childhood dream that came true, and this, above all, will always separate them from other artists.
Wallows’ pairing of poetic lyrics in conjunction with their musical talents creates art out of their learned lessons and stories. Whether it be about love, home lives or emotional instability, Wallows’ music explores the complexities and even beauties of growing up. Their personal growth into the band they have become is just as, if not more, extraordinary and admirable than their first album, “Nothing Happens.”
Wallows band members (Left to right) Cole Preston, Dylan Minnette, and Braeden Lemasters. Photo by Alexis Jade Gross.