Cloud Nothings

The Shadow I Remember

Written by: PP on 17/01/2021 16:53:34

Cloud Nothings admittedly fell in between chairs here at since our long-time editor Tim Larsen retired from covering them, given their soundscape that echoes sentiments from indie, alternative, and punk positioning itself almost perfectly in between all three genres. They've been keeping busy though since our 2017 review of "Life Without Sound": they followed it up in 2018 with "Last Building Burning" and then went ahead and released two albums in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, "The Black Hole Understands" and "Life Is Only One Event". And they're not done yet: "The Shadow I Remember" is the fourth Cloud Nothings album in the space of just three years.

You'd imagine the quality to suffer from such a pace, but that is not the case here. "The Shadow I Remember" is a raw album bursting at its seams as the band tears through murky indie-rock with punk rock ethos and ideals of grunge and alternative rock embezzled and embedded into a soundscape that feels nicely chaotic and controlled simultaneously. A paradoxical expression, but that's because it all feels so planned, yet unpredictable at the same time. The songs progress forward with a sense of foreshadowing of explosions about to happen; "Oslo", for instance, builds slowly but surely into louder and louder expression until it finishes itself off with raw screams and heavily distorted guitars in a glorious blend between post-punk and alternative rock.

The amount of screech in guitars and crackling gravel in the vocals contrasting the soothing atmosphere is brilliant, drawing parallels to bands like Japandroids and Wavves, while the treble-charged, joyous melodies nostalgically reference Superchunk and Dinosaur Jr style ethos for playing music out of the sheer love for it. The result is a buzzing, vibrant soundscape best audible in songs like "Nothing Without You", "It's Love" and "Only Light", where playful guitars and fuzzy distortion together create an ultimately upbeat, lovely post-punk expression.

The result is an album that's essentially a perfect bridge over the gap between punk, indie, and alternative rock genres. Fans from each will find plenty of common ground on "The Shadow I Remember" as it's a record that sounds like it was recorded in a garage without any particular attention on production, yet the songwriting and the infectious hooks will reel in almost anyone thanks to Dylan Baldi's drawl and brawl style gravelly vocals. Great start to 2021.


Download: It's Love, Am I Something, Only Light, Oslo, The Spirit Of
For the fans of: Japandroids, Screaming Females, Wavves, Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.02.2021

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