At just over 27 minutes, Think Nothing by Dublin pair We Cut Corners is a condensed minefield of emotive and scathing lyrics. Thematically the album swings through various states with each track seemingly wrapped around the vocals. The music is great, but the lyrics are so vivid and living that they can very possibly stake a claim for their own birth certificate.
‘Wallflowers’, the opening track, is about as delicately balanced on vocal delivery as it gets. As John Buckley’s astounding string arrangement grows behind him and Conall O’Breachain’s drums build steadily the song starts to support its own weight but, as will become apparent through further listens, the lyrics take center stage. By the start of second track, ‘Blue’, we start to see just what makes We Cut Corners such a thrilling live act. Hinting at Arcade Fire the track is slightly more akin to what two-piece drums and guitar combos are “supposed” to sound like. “I’m finding pieces of us everywhere…I feel a shadow crawling over us” sings Duignan in his part falsetto. The song charts a decaying relationship told though selective memories but avoids any clichés and anything approximating sorrow. As a testament to WCC’s songwriting ability it speaks volumes. But again, and by only song two, these lads are already situating themselves as light-years ahead of their contemporaries when it comes to lyrical deftness.
‘Best Friend’ is two minutes of satirical, biting rock ‘n’ roll magic. More than any other track on the band’s debut this best encapsulates WCC’s apparent approach to music making. It highlights the urgency with which they convey ideas by squeezing more into this song than most bands could say on an album. Essentially, they don’t waste a second on this track. Similarly ‘Mammals’ is an entire tome in a song and despite its frivolity still packs a serious punch. ‘Maybe In The Future’ is a change of pace which reminds us just how versatile these guys are, it’s a song that could very easily give Conor O’Brien plenty of sleepless nights. In fact, for about half of this album the comparisons with O’Brien’s Villagers are almost inevitable but the differences are marked. Think Nothing sounds as if it has been meticulously sequenced to cut through such comparisons by preventing any prolonged lull or drops in tempo. It’s by no means a ham-fisted fast slow fast slow cadence, it’s far more astute and keeping the listener actively aware of the album moving along.
‘Every Thief’ is high on the emotion stakes and will probably pop up on countless montages or highlight reels and is soundly kicked in the back by ‘YKK’ which is a playful homage, possibly, to zips. Regardless, it’s a straight forward rocker with enough snappy appeal to remind you that this is a band with serious chops to their name. Think Nothing is an album full of subtlety and hidden charms. Listen to it carefully just once and you’ll almost be guaranteed to have moments of it flash through your mind for weeks. Musically it’s a strong statement but the lyrics, as repeatedly mentioned, are inspired; well and truly considered and thought provoking.