For an album that has taken precisely four years to record and around seven years to write, ‘This Is What’s Left From Nothing That’s Happened’ is juvenile, unoriginal and stale from the clumsy title right down to the tedious and seemingly never-ending instrumental interludes. It’s as if Samuel Francis Cain, the so-called brains behind Your Move, Raincloud, became so obsessed by his musical masterpiece that he just couldn’t leave it alone and spent year upon year locked away in a dark, dank recording studio, deprived of light, oxygen and essential nutrients, adding layer upon layer of overblown sounds to the point where the album now sounds like a confused mess. You can tell simply the amount of instruments featured on the album: guitar, drums, vocals, bass, violin, accordion, banjo and glockenspiel to name a few.
In parts, What’s Left… is almost great. The album is filled with snippets of beautiful and interesting sounds – such as the strings on the intro to Open Return – but the way the whole thing is assembled is quite bizarre and leaves me baffled as to what Your Move, Raincloud were trying to achieve. The album dwells on some vague and clichéd idea about emotions and profoundness, which just falls flat and fails to send any message whatsoever, except for the most blatant of statements along the lines of, “this song has got thunder sounds in the background which means I’m having deep thoughts.”
On the intro to Something, Cain warbles aimlessly over a distorted background, which features throughout the album and creates a sickly, clinical effect like a musical equivalent of artificial lighting. But if you can bear to make it through these opening few bars, Something is reasonably good. The track is at its best when the tempo speeds up and something of a tune is established and the strings are put to effective use. While the track is much more pleasing to listen to than most of the album, it’s still pretty generic and Cain whines the lyrics ‘so call me drunk, at 3am’ over and over again. I get the impression that this repetition is supposed to convey some kind of desperation or romance or possibly despair, but actually it’s just plain irritating.
All in all, the experience is unsatisfying and feels like a lot of hard work and that’s before I even mention Cain’s hyper-nasal vocals.