Do Nothing – Snake Sideways

A truly impressive debut.

Released: 30th June 2023

The title-track on Do Nothing’s debut album, ‘Snake Sideways’, is charmingly off-kilter. This proves something to get used to, the kind of tone that inhabits the entire album. Endearingly earnest but riddled with anxiety and wound-up tension, in true serpentine fashion, it winds itself around your arms, up to your neck, tighter and tighter. Each time you think it is about to get too much, they relinquish that hold with a brutally honest quip or a softly strummed guitar. It’s never suffocating; instead, it’s something to revel in as Do Nothing craft a truly impressive debut.

Wry lyricism delivered with a healthy dose of sardonicism meets ferocious guitars and fast-paced, unsettling percussion. On ‘The Needle’, there’s a taunting whirl of rhythm that seems to circle around you. Before long, the straight-forward words lessen the threat of that taunt, and Chris Bailey’s voice becomes practically pleading. Those emotions and feelings pour out, and a new side to the band is unlocked in doing so – in revelling in honesty and a complete lack of sugar-coating, their soundscape becomes infinitely more powerful. Each dissolving drum moment seems more purposeful, each crawling guitar line more filled with intent.

‘Sunshine State’ is a particularly fundamental moment, venomous in its condemnation of America’s response to the AIDs crisis. Do Nothing are powerful both when they are personal and also societal-looking, and the rigid anger of ‘Sunshine State’ epitomises that. They’re capricious but undoubtedly stronger than ever – dark themes are aplenty, but Do Nothing find some optimism amongst it all anyway. ‘Snake Sideways’ feels like a band’s desperate claw back to themselves, to the true ambitions of their creation, and that is no doubt unlocked here. Do Nothing are authentic, ambitious, and all-round impressive on their debut.

4.0 rating
Total Score

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