If you’ve been pining after a bit of angsty, hard-hitting British metal then Essex newcomers When Nothing Works well and truly have you covered. They’ve honed a heavy, yet engaging metalcore sound that fuses powerful vocals and lyrics with big riffs and pounding rhythms.
The quintet of Adam (drums), Jim (vocals), Michael (bass) and Luke and Ben (guitars) formed out of the ashes of three of the members’ former band, Our Condolences. Jim MacVeigh tried out for the new band in February, which obviously went well as they’ve since released three singles. And, judging by their Instagram posts, in that time they’ve also supported one of our favourites in As Everything Unfolds, which automatically makes them a great band in our eyes!
On the sound they’ve honed, Jim tells us: “Think of a mixture of Bury Tomorrow, mixed with Enter Shikari. Full of fury, breakdowns and a message that stands true.”
Their most recent single is the huge Hungover Guilt, which was released last month and, as Jim tells us below and you’ll probably be able to deduce from the lyrics, is about a dark subject that emits fury and carries an important message. It opens up with a lively high-pitched guitars and driving drums then cool stabbing guitars drop into lower-tuned bursts under the vocals “I’m too drunk she said, But you didn’t stop, Where’s your respect?, No means no means no means no.”
Cool high-pitched guitars return under the almost spoken vocals “No apologies will change the choice you made, You’ve put your hands where they don’t belong” that intensify with cries of “Wipe away the tears” then continue “Lean on my shoulder, I’ll help you any way I can, You don’t need to fight this alone.”
A stabbing guitar and lively drums lead us into another heavy verse and repeat of the “no means no” vocals. Then after a second chorus the instrumentals increase in intensity with a spinning guitar lick under cries of “You were a few feet away and I had no idea what was going on, I wish I could’ve broken down the door and ended it right there.” Then guitars and drums take the track to heavy ending.
On the track, Jim says: “It’s a song about a friend of mine who was sexually abused. It only happened in January so it was fresh, so when I tried out for WNW in February, I was inspired to write it about that situation. It’s a song of pure fury.” Check it out in the video below:
That follows previous single Hurt/Heal, which opens up with delicious heavy opening guitars that feed into clean opening vocals. That flows into an engaging chorus of “Through the heartache and the pain, Your memory is not in vein, Through the hurt and the tears, I know you’ll always be here, This is my goodbye for you” then heavier guitars lead into another verse.
A second chorus gives way to big screamed vocals over stabbing guitar chords and lively drums, which end on drawn-out guitars that feed into a higher version of the chorus. Check it out here:
While debut single Coward shows a more vicious side to the band, diving straight into powerful vocals supported by driving guitars and drums. It ends with the line “Only then you realised you really fucked up” followed by a cried chorus of “Stay strong, You will get through this, Stay strong, You don’t have to battle alone, Stay strong, I know that the anger still burns, Stay strong, I’ll stand side by side with you.”
An even heavier second verse follows, then a cool spinning guitar jumps in and continues under big cries of “You are no man.” And that eventually drops into another big chorus that brings the track to a heavy close. Give it a listen here:
When Nothing Works draw influence from bands like Deaf Havana through to Counterparts and Killswitch Engage, while pretty much anything inspires them to write music. As Jim explains: “Themes and topics include anything relevant to this scene and regular day today. From sexual assault to how the government is handling everything. Much like influences to write music, (musical influences) completely depends on what member you ask, which is why I think it works so well.
“Members range from ambient rap to melodic hardcore, classic metal, to pop music and anything in between. There’s such a range of people that have inspired each member throughout the years that there’s probably not enough time or pages on the internet to list.”
We are loving the sound of yet another awesome new British metal band and we’re really excited to hear what else is coming our way, with the band promising plenty more new music. As Jim tells us: “For the rest of the year due to Covid we’re obviously very quiet on the gigging front, but that will help and push us in the long run. We currently plan on releasing a song a month for the foreseeable future to make sure when gigs are back on we have a full arsenal to take on whatever shows we can take.”