2017 debuted perhaps one of the best alternative-emo albums of the year. Movements’ ‘Feel Something’ made waves among the scene, paving the path for a successful string of tours and success in the years to follow. Of course, following such a remarkable debut came with much doubt surrounding a follow-up of the same quality. ‘No Good Left to Give’, the second full-length release, certainly encapsulates the impact of the bands well acclaimed debut.
‘No Good Left to Give’ opens with the melancholic beats of ‘In My Blood’, a mellow yet dark introduction to the deep impact of the overall tracklist. From the release of singles ‘Don’t Give Up Your Ghost’ and ‘Skin To Skin’, fans were quick to question, ‘are the band’s lyrics even sad anymore?’, with themes coming from a third person perspective of questioning storytelling, opposed to the first person emotional narrative so predominant in earlier releases. ‘Skin to Skin’ offers higher pitched instrumental aspect, a quicker guitar rhythm and lyrical pacing whereas ‘Don’t Give Up Your Ghost’, the albums first single release,
‘Tunnel Vision’, perhaps the albums heaviest track, emphasises that emotional depth that Movements are renowned for. One of the best singles and tracks on the album, the blended harsh and soft clean vocals add a beautiful juxtaposition that almost perfectly embraces the hopeless lyrical motifs of the track. The fade away of the instrumentals into the pained harsh vocals truly make the track stand out, leaving an impact on the listener as the track slowly comes to an end. It is safe to say the bands lyricism has certainly improved, telling a story of emotional pain and depth into a flowing stretch of music.
With an emotional depth, one usually would expect slower acoustics, quiet breathy type vocals and a slower tempo. While ‘12 Weeks’ and ‘Living Apology’ do incorporate aspects of the trio, they also stand alone as their own style, fitting the overall album without being labelled necessarily as the ‘slower ballad’ of the album. The only criticism is that these tracks can drag on slightly, similarly to ‘Santiago Peak’ in terms of repeated structures and progressions. However, this does not mean the track loses its impact. The impact still flows solidly, perhaps just teetering slightly as it progresses.
While the albums title track is rather short and sweet, it gives a good overall roundup of the album before slowly transitioning to the closure of ‘Love Took the Last of It’. Closing on a softer level with an emphasis on the last vocals lines spoken, the track reiterates the lyrics of the title track and what is ultimately the theme throughout the other tracks, that there is “no good that’s left to give; love took the last of it.”
A Movements track is hardly going to be an upbeat, eccentric bundle of happy emotions, but on the occasion this album does feel subdued compared to their debut. The quality remains, yet the album feels like it is missing something to really push it to its prime. However, NGLTG is definitely a development in the bands distinct sound, blended perfectly by the track ‘Moonlight Lines’. A perfect blend of spoken word, flowing instrumentals and thoughtful lyricism, it helps to create the perfect track to blend the familiarity of ‘Feel Something’ into the bands new musical journey,
The album is certainly of a high standard, and the three year wait after their debut was certainly worthwhile. It’s important to add that this is an album that should be listened to thoroughly. Do not shuffle this album as background noise, but instead, take 45 minutes out of your day to truly listen to the album, its lyrics and motifs.