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Rambling About Dead Club City by Nothing But Thieves

welcome to the dcc

By lucyjbPublished about a month ago 4 min read

DISCLAIMER: this is just my interpretation so you don't have to agree, but if you wanna get mad about it please for the love of god go find someone who actually cares and waste their time instead.


as per usual nbt has so many incredible lyrics that just completely destroy me but in terms of talking about all of them sometimes I just don't have any comments besides like 'omg love this' or 'this hits' or some stupid shit like that so this is purely just my reactions and immediate connections and thoughts for specific songs and lyrics that really stuck out and hit different for me personally


Welcome to the DCC (track one)

first song title as obviously the opener but also a literal welcome/introduction to the city and the ideas/vibes that it represents—”if you dream it you can have it/if you believe it it can happen”/“all the heaven all the time”/“live your perfect life” paints this picture of a utopian, heavenly city where nothing can go wrong and then the album precedes to tell you everything that is wrong lmao

this first verse introduces you to the problems that they do have, “we got problems, see them gather on the shore, empty promise” but with this visual of problems gathering around the shore its more like they are problems that are ignored, like trash in a river etc.. “can't say nothing anymore.” introduces a common theme throughout the album—that being the relationship they have with success but also how that is changed in this era of technology and twitter and ‘getting canceled’ etc

going back to the chorus esp from the first verse you're reminded of the city and its so called perfection but the second verse has a much more positive vibe that fits with this utopian theme, repetition of lines like “live your perfect life” and “If you believe it it can happen” and then into the bridge and the final chorus which feels sort of like a last attempt to make you believe that the city is a utopian heaven

Overcome (track two)

“our song blaring on a dead radio” kind of fits into the existential themes but in a sort of brighter way?? love how it captures a feeling of futility but also the existence of art and culture despite that futility and how maybe that makes it worth it

“when you say the pain weathers in time” this lyrics is interesting to me just because it is so opposite the existential vibe and the recent influx of lyrics about things getting worse etc etc

Tomorrow Is Closed (track three)

just the opening line “its too late” and even the title ‘tomorrow is closed’ as in there is no tomorrow—first verse is very much like an acceptance of the end

I LOVE that drop from the first verse into the chorus

“say the wrong things the right way” example of pairing opposites together (one of my favorite things in writing but especially in lyrics)

Keeping You Around (track four)

“your lips want anyone else, mine taste like everyone else” I LOVE THIS because it kinda feels like opposites but in parallel if that makes sense? i especially love this line because it really opens the song with a kind of gray area which of course, for this song is kinda perfect. nbt has this way of writing the most tragic, heartbreaking love songs that i will never get over i love it so much “oh that's a tragedy” (i love a good tragic ending tho)

“you're so pretty when you lie to me” similar to a band CAMINO lyric “you're beautiful when you're lying”

“more hope of killing war or seeing sound than i've got of keeping you around” i like the sort of tragedy to this? the idea that something as simple as keeping someone around is just as impossible as killing war.

“i'm still a broken machine” i love when artists reference earlier albums/songs

it has this sort of slinky, lowkey ethereal cloudy vibe like looking at something through someone else's glasses or drunk goggles or something

City Haunts (track five)

introduction to the darker sides of the city, “sleezeballs eyeballing me for too long”/”its your money, guy, or its your life”/”its a cruel part of town”

Do You Love Me Yet? (track six)

“Pick up the award for best rock act” vs later change to “Pick up the award for best dropped act” (“apart from…”) evolution of image in the public eye, how it changes etc

Talking To Myself (track ten)

evolution of this relationship coming to an end begin first verse with story of how it ended, into lyrics about who was at fault and

“maybe i could see it coming but ego gets the truth to bend” —this is so intricate i love it—this idea of bending the truth

“i guess the world forgot to end” —very popular world ending/futility theme, we’re all just having an ongoing existential crisis tbh

Pop The Balloon (track eleven)

“kill the dead club city”/pop the balloon” balloon as symbol of the city and realizing that its not what it seems paired w kill the dead club city as the end of illusion/city

“read the forum, says you'll die” this is super obscure and i doubt this is the real meaning behind it, but the first thing that comes to mind for me when i heard this is Sulla’s Proscriptions—Sulla was a Roman politician who put lists in the forum of people he wanted dead, and rewarded clemency (among other things) to those who could give him proof of their death.

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