Cloud Nothings produces quality third album
Cleveland, Ohio’s indie rock outfit Cloud Nothings came out with their third full-length record “Attack On Memory” on January 24. On their past albums, Cloud Nothings has had a fairly solid indie rock style that sounded great but also didn’t stand out from this current trends of that genre. However, on “Attack On Memory,” the band has taken a sort of 180 — rather than sounding like a run-of-the-mill indie rock band, the band has a sound reminiscent of classic bands such as Sonic Youth, The Velvet Underground and even Nirvana at some points.
Breaking their past molds
The opening track “No Future/No Past” immediately shows the listener that this record is different from the band’s past work. The song begins with a slow tempo but builds and gets progressively more intense. Vocalist Dylan Baldi begins singing softly but by the end of the song he assaults the airwaves with a brilliant scream. This is not a screamo record by any means, but Baldi channels the classic screams of vocalists such as Kurt Cobain using it to add dynamic and passion to the music. Next is the eight-minute epic song “Wasted Days.” The song starts out sounding like a “Daydream Nation”-era Sonic Youth but goes somewhere else entirely. This track seems to have single-handedly brought back the near dead genre of “noise rock.”
This album is not all heavy though; the track “Fall In” contains a refreshingly catchy, poppy melody. This song is sure to get all those too-cool-for-school hipsters, standing silently with their arms crossed, to stretch those skinny jeans out and dance for a change. The track has some of the best guitar work on the record as well as rock-solid drumming. The catchy sound continues in the next track “Stay Useless,” a modern indie rock masterpiece, containing fantastic instrumentation and vocals. In Baldi’s lyrics, he writes of very relatable concepts such as loneliness and finding who we are. In “Stay Useless” he sings “Can I feel utterly unreal? / Nothing I can do to change things / I am stuck in here / I’m tired of everywhere / I’m never gonna learn to be alone.” These lyrics are well written for a relatively young band of this genre.
“Separation” is an incredible three-minute instrumental that leads into the final section of the album. The record ends on a catchy note with the track “Catch You,” yet another incredible song with great instrumentation and vocals.
Combining classic rock and original sounds
“Attack On Memory” can be seen as a love letter to classic indie rock of the ’80s and ’90s. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a copycat record. Cloud Nothings pays homage to their forefathers without stealing their sound. The record has the perfect balance of heaviness and pop sensibility, making it a very worthy edition to any rock fan’s library and an early selection for one of the best albums of 2012.