Cloud Nothings

support Yung
author TL date 15/05/14 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

After two weeks of seemingly band upon band upon band, I am starting to seriously worry about my hearing long term, although not enough to even once consider missing tonight's Cloud Nothings show at Loppen. For that the show they played two years ago at Beta and the two latest albums they've released are too good, and remembering how well their material translated, I've convinced LF to join me for yet another show, along with one half of Denmark's number one pop-punk/hxc blog Dude Manor. The shift gods have even been kind today, so I have been in no rush to get here and there has even been time for a few pre-show beers, so as it's exactly the right kind of mood we've got building as we enter Loppen, we gather up near the stage in hopes of tonight's support band not rubbing us too much in the wrong way.

Pictures courtesy of blurred.dk

Yung

Before the arrival of Århus-based trio Yung I have learned two things: From Århus resident LF I learn that their singer/guitarist is somewhat of a veteran in the local punk scene, and from Dude Manor's Christian Otte I learn that the band has opted to have no presence on the internet whatsoever. As they start playing they do however prove to make all sorts of sense as a choice for tonight's bill, because their noisy, straight-forward indie bears quite a bit of similarity to that of the evening's headliners. It is however a lot simpler, as the no-frills, three-chord progressions quickly start to blur together under the raspy yells that make up the vocals, and the most visibly interesting facet of their frontman's performance is that he is apparently unaware that a strand of his semi-long blond hair is hanging from his lip for the first couple of songs.

If he wants to be here, he reveals no hint of if it, which is weird because the bassist to his right looks to groove fairly happily while providing the simplistic grooves and the drummer behind the kit seems positively delighted to be playing what is clearly the most vivid elements in the band's sound. The songs are obviously unbeknownst to the crowd though, and the band does nothing to let them do anything but speak for themselves, which they don't do all that well at (except maybe for the fourth song, which for a moment felt like it actually had some movement in it). On one hand, the band seems comfortable in its chosen style and the set is tightly sung and played, but on the other, it's hard to find out what here is out of the ordinary and it strikes me that Yung themselves don't look like they understand why they should play anywhere outside of their own rehearsal room. Basically if you're into "emperor's new clothes" type of indie where trying hard to not try at anything is essential, then this is your Danish band at that, but really, isn't it just rather dull, especially compared to what comes next?

6

Cloud Nothings

Having refreshed our drinks, Otte and I rendevouz up front in anticipation of tonight's headlining Cleveland trio, yet as singer/guitarist Dylan Baldi and his mates come on, it's striking how similar their kind of performance is to Yung's. What is more striking however, is how much better it is simply because the music that does the actual talking here is a hundred times more melodic and dynamic, courtesy of the band's masterful and frantic variation of strumming and striking patterns. Baldi, Duke and Gerycz barely say a word between songs and barely move from their spots while playing, and moreover, Gerycz is working with only two drums and two cymbals apart from the kick. Still, from the word go, the trio absolutely murders it, racing through their fuzzy, deceptively catchy indie-rock bangers like a band that waits for noone.

Gerycz in particular is ferocious behind the kit, drumming up a storm as the band steadily grinds through everything we could want to hear from "Here And Nowhere Else" and "Attack On Memory", while omitting (and wisely so in my opinion) 2011's self-titled. "Quieter Today" and "Psychic Trauma" appear alongside "Fall In" and "Stay Useless", and while the band is similarly challenged with vocal clarity like Touché Amoré was here yesterday, it's clear that the words are a less vital component compared to the melodies tonight, as visibile from the heads seen nodding and feet seen tapping all the way to the back from where I'm standing. Over in front of Baldi, dancing eventually breaks out and gets wilder and wilder, with ecstatic fans happily bumping into each other, and as we proceed through "Separation" and later "Cut You", "I'm Not Part Of Me" and penultimately "Now Hear In", the noise and energy is verging on glorious.

Some are grooving comfortably while others are shaking and air-strumming frantically enough to be considered vibrating as Cloud Nothings confidently keep the pedal to the metal. Once again, the way the band's material works is a "you gotta see it to believe it" type of deal, and once again they act like they have nothing to prove, even here in faraway Denmark, as they return for an encore with Baldi underscoring that they're playing only one more with all the overbearing authority of the dad telling his kid that he's getting only one chocolate bar in the store. The closing cut is fittingly "Wasted Days" - the second long-jammer of the night - which starts off so noisily it's almost hard to recognise, yet as soon as Baldi has snarled the first round of "I thought I could be more than this" we're off into the seemingly neverending drone-climax-repeat of the song's lengthy bridge which finally returns so gratifyingly with the screamed energy purge that sends both believers and newly converted freshly shaken into the night - All of us realising the simple truth that the raw energy of a Cloud Nothings show could probably power a Duracell factory.

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