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Nothing really happens, except for when Wallows releases new music

It’s been five years since the release of Wallows’ debut studio album “Nothing Happens.” To celebrate its anniversary, the Los Angeles-based band released a limited edition vinyl on April 20 — this year’s Record Store Day. It includes three of the band’s singles and most notably features a previously unreleased track, “Bad Remake.” These additions make for a treasured, collectible version of the album that is sure to become a prized possession for die-hard fans.

The first deviation from the standard edition happens a third of the way through the album with “Trust Fall.” This track was originally released alongside “Just Like a Movie” in 2019 as a double single, shortly after the release of “Nothing Happens.” Though “Trust Fall” and “Just Like a Movie” belong to the same era as “Nothing Happens,” both sonically and aesthetically, it seems like the band made the right decision to scrap them from the finalized version. There is an obvious shift in the atmosphere once those songs begin to play, and they don’t quite find their places among the rest of the tracklist. A newer fan might stumble through this sequence, but those who have been there since the beginning will no doubt appreciate the intertwining of these projects nevertheless.

The same can be said about “Underneath the Streetlights in the Winter Outside Your House,” released in 2018. Loyal fans familiar with the band’s deep cuts will instantly recognize the lyrics this track shares with “Ice Cold Pool,” giving an outright explanation as to why Wallows chose to include it on this version of the album. However, this track stands out among Wallows’ discography entirely, not just in relation to the album, mostly because of its heavy, punk drum beat and overdriven vocals. “Nothing Happens” is deliberately clean and polished. The best thing about all of these tracks is that they carry the youthful, energetic spirit that embodies Wallows, no matter how different they may sound.

“Bad Remake” easily wins the hearts of new and old fans alike, fitting in perfectly with the rest of the album. Its jangly guitars are reminiscent of ‘80s punk and alternative rock songs, like Descendents’ “In Love This Way” and The Smiths’ “Rusholme Ruffians.” Braeden Lemasters hypnotizes listeners with his nostalgic, Lennon-like voice as he criticizes the superficiality of the entertainment industry: “Fame is a grave / Can’t breathe, but hope you’re well paid.” He extends this sentiment through the metaphor of a bad remake, as he longs for revolutionary originality: “There’s things that you wish you could change / Some films just should not be remade.” It’s a shame and a wonder that this track did not make the final cut of “Nothing Happens,” as it shimmers and shines from start to finish.

“Nothing Happens” is a staple for any Wallows fan. It is the gateway album that allows listeners to fall in love with them and their music, and it provides a foundation for those who want to grow with them as they experiment with their sound later on in “Remote” and “Tell Me That It’s Over.” That is exactly why the three singles included in the anniversary edition are gems, even if they don’t necessarily belong there.

With the success of the fifth-anniversary edition of Wallows’ debut album, fans can look to “Model,” out on May 24.

Verdict: With the release of three new singles in the past three months, Wallows have returned to their original captivating sound, which is sure to amass tons of new listeners and charm devoted fans.

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