H2O – Nothing To Prove


Artist

Album

Nothing To Prove

Label

Bridge 9/Stomp

Year

2008

Genre

For Fans Of

Madball – New Found Glory – Sick Of It All

Summary

Back and better than ever…

Rating

94 / 100

It’s been seven years since H2O’s last studio record, so when the band announced they’d
be releasing a new full length in mid 2008 I think it’s safe to say
the news was met with both excitement and cynicism. Well, in my recent
interview with H2O bass player Adam Blake, he was quoted
as saying that the band didn’t feel any pressure when it came to making Nothing To Prove and that in turn resulted in a free flowing and
energetic record… and that sums it up really. Free from the interference
of major labels and touring constraints the New York five-piece have
been able to make their most impressive record in almost a decade.  

The thing I have always loved
about H2O is their meat and potatoes approach to song writing.
They don’t need studio tricks to make their tunes better and Toby
Morse
doesn’t hide behind cryptic metaphors when it comes to his
lyrics. As a band they wear their hearts on their sleeves and Nothing
To Prove
is no exception, 

Opening blast “1995” is brimming
with more energy than many of today’s younger bands can muster, the
up-tempo, gang vocal heavy choruses etching itself into your brain within
thirty seconds of pressing play. The record’s title track is classic H2O with a punk beat being met head on with a bouncing chorus, while
the driving “Sunday” sees Toby at his most introspective
(that means you should actually buy the record and read the lyric book
kids).  

The groove of “A Think Line”
recalls the band’s New York comrades Madball with Freddy
Crichen
even making a guest appearance in the song’s bridge, which
makes for a stark contrast to the mid paced “Unconditional”. Although
I am not (and have never been) straight edge, “Still Here” is an
inspiring song nonetheless, Toby’s nearly quarter century dedication
to the lifestyle well and truly standing the test of time. “Fairweather
Friend” is more than capable of standing on its own two feet, however
a vocal contribution from Lou Koller (Sick Of It All) never hurts
and “Heart On My Sleeve” can be appreciated by anyone who has ever
felt as though they’ve been judged on their appearance. Rounding out Nothing To Prove is the anthemic “Mitts” and the shout along
“What Happened?” both tracks standing up to the high quality precedent
that has been set by the remainder of the album.  

Rather than going with a regular
conclusion I’m going to leave you with a quote that you’ll find
between the eighth and ninth track on the record.

Conclusion

“No matter how bummed out
you are on life and how disconnected you feel from everything, music
pulls you right back up and keeps you positive”. 

Tracklisting

  1. 1995
  2. Nothing To Prove
  3. Sunday
  4. A Thin Line
  5. Unconditional
  6. Still Here
  7. Fairweather Friend
  8. Heart On My Sleeve
  9. Mitts
  10. What Happened?

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