Like many of today’s bands, Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings had
humble beginnings. Started by Dylan Baldi as a way to amuse
himself while still in college, Cloud Nothings has gradually
evolved its sound, and released an album for each of the past three
years. Now, after finally assembling a slew of talented musicians, Cloud
Nothings has become a full-fledged band — and the difference is massive.
With their newest album, the short, rage-filled and introspective “Attack
on Memory,” they haven’t just refined their sound — they may have made
themselves the voice of a generation.
Wiping the slate clean after their less notable first two albums, the band
begins the album with a simple piano melody on the gradually intensifying
opener “No Future/No Past.” Directly following is the album’s stand-out track,
“Wasted Days,” which starts as an angsty indie punk anthem (“I thought! I
would! Be more! Than this!”), then turns into a fascinating nine minute
lurch of a jam session. The band’s greatest talent is writing hooks, and they
are spread perfectly throughout the album, from the Replacements-esque
riffing on “Stay Useless” to the angular guitar attacks on “No Sentiment.”
The album is produced by legendary alternative musician Steve Albini,
and his intense, fuzz-driven style, benefits each of the album’s eight
tracks. Besides fronting the influential 80s punk band Big Black, Albini’s
most notable production work is on early Nirvana and Pixies albums.
Just like Kurt Cobain or Frank Black, Baldi has his opinions, and he
knows how to share them while remaining humble and sympathetic.
It’s easy to write off Cloud Nothings as just another angry indie punk
band — but they’re more than that.
FOR FANS OF FUGAZI, TITUS ANDRONICUS,