Cloud Nothings shed naïveté on ‘Here and Nowhere Else’

The Cloud Nothings are known for having a loud and visceral sound that shakes you to your core. The group is a lo-fi noise punk rock outfit from Cleveland with lyrics reminiscent of angry teen angst. Although the band’s previous “Attack on Memory” album was loud and fun, singer-songwriter Dylan Baldi is not much of a poet, and it shows in his lyrics.

The Cloud Nothings’s newest album, “Here and Nowhere,” at a very brief glance doesn’t sound much different. The opening track “Now Here In” is an emotionally charged rocket that barrels out of the gate. The lyrics in the hook which describe feeling another person’s pain creates a mood that is constant throughout the album.

This time around, the band has created songs that feel more aimed and precise. Although the band has retained its grit and intensity, the new album feels more planned than 2012′s “Attack on Memory.” Songs like “I’m Not a Part of Me” are far catchier and create a more specific identity. Baldi tells the melancholy story of a young man desperately wanting to follow his dreams and leave his town.

 

 

While “Attack on Memory” feels more raw, songs like “No Thoughts” give a picture of an artist at his end; the grinding guitars add to a black-and-blue painting. Tracks like “Psychic Trauma” capture the same powerful and loud emotions throughout the album. The song features yelling reminiscent of Kurt Cobain on the part of Baldi.

Baldi has improved on the whiny and self-effacing lyrics, replacing teenage naïveté with actual emotional problems and depth instead. As a result, the album feels more solid and put together. His lyrics darkly draw and expand on the feeling of being stuck somewhere mundane. The album is thick with an anxious sense of urgency but still maintains its rhythm without losing sight of emotion.

The Cloud Nothings, with Baldi singing, Jayson Gerycz on drums and
TJ Duke on bass, have indeed grown up on this record. On first listen, the album seems to show that Baldi has lost some of his passion and anger, but after paying attention to the message and sentiment of the album, the album is clearly a step in the right direction. This band is no longer plagued by an image that paints its members as nihilistic, uniformed teenagers. Instead, Baldi, Gerycz and Duke create an album that evokes stronger and more vivid emotion.

Reach the reporter at mhkent@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @guccimileskent