Emo rapper nothing,nowhere. is analyzing the dark side of the human psyche with the release of his latest album, ‘Trauma Factory’. The album serves as both an examination of how experiencing, processing, and coping with trauma shapes people as well as a vivid illustration of some of Joe Mulherin‘s most burdensome emotional states.
“Human life is a trauma factory.” Perhaps the darkest, yet most forthright line from the album’s spoken-word prologue sets the scene for everything Mulherin plans on divulging about his close relationship with pain, suffering, and the healing process in the subsequent 14 tracks.
Synth melodies, guitar loops, and toned-down beats work together to curate a new facet of nothing,nowhere.‘s signature sound that could overall be described by bedroom pop-leaning emo rap influenced by a wide scope of genres. Then again, genre has become so abstracted it might as well be dead, and ‘Trauma Factory’ attests to music’s modern-day doctrine by adopting a stylistic fluidity that’s both refreshing and contributes to the album feeling slightly disjointed at times.
The subdued beats and sing-along chorus of “lights (4444)” pay an homage to 90’s mainstream pop and “pain place” rides a futuristic hyperpop wave, while “fake friend” hairpin turns into pop punk and “death” walks a fine line of heavy industrial rock and trap metal, presenting something unexpected that makes for the heaviest nothing, nowhere. song yet.
That’s not to say the album lacks consistency, though. A range of cadences and musical styles doesn’t deter nothing,nowhere. from consistently permeating his soundscapes with the raw, intense, and occasionally harrowing emotions he fosters relatability through. Evoked feelings of sadness, anger, and melancholy are direct reflections of the innovative, yet innermost and vulnerable thoughts tied to the album’s creation and central theme.
Ultimately, ‘Trauma Factory’ feels emotionally lighter in comparison to a lot of Mulherin‘s past work and demonstrates how the rapper plays to his strengths with more tact and maturity, but seemingly endorses a semblance of positivity that past nothing,nowhere. albums would’ve written off.