Cloud Nothings

Here And Nowhere Else

Written by: TL on 26/03/2014 21:51:02

If you want to start a band and you're going to make fuzzy, noisy indie rock, one band I suggest taking notes from is Cloud Nothings. The Cleveland-trio that grew from the '09 solo-project of songwriter/guitarist/singer Dylan Baldi released one of the very best albums of 2012 in their third, "Attack On Memory", which perfectly toured the various things they could do with their highly unique and lo-fi sound, whether it was short and snappy pop songs like "Stay Useless", instrumental jams like "Separation", grungy desolations like "No Future/No Past" or everlasting, brooding drone-and-explode like the epic "Wasted Days".

That was then of course, and while I could still rave about that record, the topic of the day is its successor "Here And Nowhere Else", which comes out in less than a week from now. On here Cloud Nothings sound relatively unchanged, except perhaps even warmer and fuzzier than on "Attack On Memory" maybe also because it feels like the new release focuses exclusively on one aspect of its predecessor, namely the brighter, friendlier pop tones of "Stay Useless" and "Fall In".

Instead of varying wildly in track length all the songs on here are around three or four minutes long, except for "Pattern Walks" which clocks in at 7:24 near the end of the record and things get started with "Now Here In", which opens with one of the band's traditionally toasty guitar riffs and Baldi's spry vocals and quickly gets wilder and wilder, as is going to be thematic for "Here And Nowhere Else". It doesn't take long before the insistent drumming of Jayson Gerycz has driven the song to a frantic pace, with fast or faster seemingly being his preferred modes of operation. The song also sets the friendly tone of the album along with the following "Quieter Today", with both channeling similar energies and both incorporating their titles into recognisable hook melodies.

The sound and song types of the album makes it so homogenous that it flies past you in a blur if you don't pay attention however, and while Cloud Nothings' irresistible frenetic energy will make you feel like moving (and then when you're moving, like your body is not capable of moving wildly or frantically enough), I do get the feeling that I'm missing the more diverse approach of the previous album. It doesn't matter super much where you jump into the album because each song on here is another explosive cartridge in the chamber of the band's live arsenal. If I was forced to pick, I'd probably highlight "No Thoughts" for it's extra screamy ending or album closer "I'm Not Part Of Me" which gets more dynamics out of relying on TJ Duke's bass in the verse, but really it hardly matters where you jump into the album because it's super homogenous - perhaps a bit too much so.

There's always the off chance that it will just take more listens, but so far, as much as I relish hearing new Cloud Nothings and as much as I look forward to their upcoming May 15th show in Copenhagen, "Here And Nowhere Else" is a slightly less impressive listen for me than the one that got me into the band, "Attack On Memory". The band's chosen aesthetic is relatively limited, and hence shines the most when they push it in various directions the way they did on that album. There's not enough of that going on here I think, but when that's said and done, still all it means is that I recommend that you check out both and go get electrified by this stuff at the next show these guys play near you.

Download: No Thoughts, I'm Not Part Of Me, Now Here In
For The Fans Of: Japandroids, Fang Island, Superchunk

Release date 01.04.2014

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