We've all been there: a band you like throws off the shield of their previous work and treads in an entirely new direction. At first, it's all bad and upsetting and you complain about them to your friends. But upon further listening, you realize it's all for the better. This is the case with Cloud Nothings
, the project of bespectacled Cleveland-native Dylan Baldi.
Churning out 7"s and cassettes like it was no thing, Cloud Nothings developed into a shiny power-pop charm, jangly garage riffs and falsetto ooh-aahs. By the initial sound bites of his second full-length, Attack on Memory
, Dylan is clearly tired of airhead tendencies, admitting that for all its bouncy enthusiasm, Cloud Nothings had never sounded like most of the music he listens to. With the guide of Steve Albini of Big Black at the producer's helm, "No Future No Past" is thunderous grunge, droning and somehow still delicate. Baldi adds a lot more grain to his vocals, rasping only the words "Give up/Come to/No hope/We're through" throughout the track's near five minutes. Minor key melodies hunker throughout, drumming relentlessly contributes much more than mere timekeeping, and the guitar work is adventurous, whirling and distorted with fuzz. Underneath the miles of noise, there still lies a glimmer of pop sensibility. Clearly Baldi and Cloud Nothings have crafted something of weight, something worthy of repeat listens because of its importance, instead of infectious mindlessness.
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MP3: "No Future No Past"