Cloud Nothings sounds like the pent up frustration of a twenty-two year old still searching for his voice by unleashing his anxiety into a cathartic barrage of punk angst garage rock. For the music listener seeking bands with raw potential, Cloud Nothings latest LP Here And Nowhere
builds off the grittiness of its breakthrough album Attack On Memory
yet pushes for more of a polished song structure.
The story of Cloud Nothings is unique as it represents the tale of a modern young musician in the 21st century. Frontman Dylan Baldi began his music career by recording songs on GarageBand and posted his best cuts on Myspace until a record label stumbled upon his work. Once Baldi recognized the potential to expand his music's reach, he dropped out of college to pursue his artistic dream.
In a music world consumed with overproduction, Here And Nowhere Else
captures the human essence of an artist's live sound. To this band's credit, Cloud Nothings is unafraid to sound sloppy, spontaneous, and snarly for the purpose of encapsulating musical purity. It's beyond refreshing to hear a band expose its flaws instead of trying to cover it up with studio technology. Keeping in the spirit of Attack On Memory
, Baldi's youthful innocence resonates from a lyrical perspective. As a young adult trying to find his place in the world, the songs come from a real place of struggle. On the track "I'm Not A Part of Me," Baldi shouts, "It starts right now / That's the way I was before / But I can't be caught how I was those days anymore / I'm learning how to be here and nowhere else / How to focus on what I can do myself?" No price tag or makeover could duplicate the hunger of a young band trying to find its purpose. Cloud Nothings' Here And Nowhere Else
benefits from its confessional theme of self-doubt. The industry eats away the hopes of many young musicians but the evident hunger of this LP demonstrates the focus of a band hellbent on moving forward.
Tracks like "Now Hear In," "Quieter Today," and "Psychic Trauma," all showcase heavily strummed guitar riffs, low-end bass lines, and punkish drumming. Baldi's knack for writing hooky choruses over simple guitar chords on tracks like "I'm Not A Part Of Me" displays an effortless ability to create memorable work in the vein of Rivers Cuomo or Billie Joe Armstrong. "Pattern Walks" sounds like a cry for help as he shouts its chorus with profuse attitude over a heavy background complementing his anger. The track itself clocks in over seven minutes with a majority of it staying afloat in terms of high energy until its middle bridge allows the amplifiers to feed back for over a minute. As I stated earlier, it's evidently a way to capture the loose feel of the record, but the strength of the song's verses and choruses could trim the fat for a shorter time limit.
In terms of variety, the entire Here And Nowhere Else
doesn't frequently mix up its sound or change its pacing. The guitar tones sound identical on each track falling in line between clean, fuzzy, and distorted, as the rhythm remains up-tempo from start to finish. With a lack of tonal changes, it almost crosses a line of monotonous repetition, however, Baldi's songwriting counteracts the feeling of deja vu. Here And Nowhere Else
is worthy of a full listen as the catchiness for a majority of its tracks display well-crafted lyrical content and quality musicality. Dylan Baldi is a songwriter to keep an eye on as maturity will hone his ear for melody. Channeling personal experiences into moments of compelling expression isn't a simple process, yet Baldi's sincerity is a trait that will resonate with listeners.
Here and Nowhere Else
is out now. Get your copy here