You may have read Ryan Caley’s Top 50 albums of 2013 (check it out here if you haven’t) and now he’s back with a review of the latest offering from Cloud Nothings, “Here and Nowhere Else”. Enjoy the read and listen to a couple tracks embedded at the bottom.
Here and Nowhere Else
Carpark Records – CAK92
By: Ryan Caley
Dylan Baldi and the rest of the Cleveland post-punk/emo-punk/pop-punk/noise-punk/whatever else people are calling them these days-punk trio have made quite the name for themselves over the past few years since their third full length LP ‘Attack on Memory’ was released back in 2012. With blistering drums and guitar riffs, and choruses as catchy as they were depressing and angry, it was only natural for such an album to be an instant cult classic on the indie circuit; but Baldi wanted more, and with ‘Here and Nowhere Else’ he’s showing us a diversity and raw energy that is taken to a whole new level.
Most of you familiar with ‘Attack on Memory’ remember the self-deprecating lines like “I need time to stop moving, I need time to stay useless” and “I thought I would be more than this” but it’s on ‘Here and Nowhere Else’ where Baldi’s songwriting moves slightly away from self-deprecating and more towards self-healing and a will to distance himself from his depressive moods, whether he’s successful or not.
The album leads off with a track called ‘Now Hear In’ a sing-along track with memorable lines (“I can feel your pain and I feel alright about it”) that will be a pop-punk anthem for years to come, but really that can be said about almost every track on this album. This is especially said about the closing track, ‘I’m Not Part of Me’. One of the longer tracks on this LP it speaks of heartbreak and covert depression, a relatable topic with almost any post-punk music fan, and with such a memorable and catchy (not to mention deep) chorus line repeated several times, it won’t take long for this song to catch on, and speaking from experience and seeing them perform it twice over again with the crowd singing and moshing along the whole way through, it’s taken about a week.
A couple of the trademarks of Cloud Nothings that they’ve kept through four LPs are the chaotic and intense drumming of Jayson Gerycz, and the driving guitar riffs that go along with the strained screams of lead guitarist and singer Dylan Baldi, there’s no songs short of either of those. One of the more memorable tracks showcasing the raw energy of a group like this is one of the promo singles pre-album release; ‘Psychic Trauma’, starting out slow and hitting a manic peak in the chorus as Baldi’s screams and the ensuing wall-of-sound will give you goosebumps every time you hear it. Another good example is in ‘Pattern Walks’, a live staple of the group for years to come, with a breakdown reminiscent to ‘Wasted Days’ on their previous release, it adds an element of despair and hopelessness with reverberated vocals whining “I thought, I would never remember…” behind hectic instrumentals building up to an incredibly noisy outro made even more amazing by the fact that they’ve always recorded their albums live, altogether and usually in minimal takes with little mistakes (voice cracks, missed drums or cymbals, etc) left in. It makes for one of the most exciting, raw and authentic sounding records released in the past decade and prove to us that Cloud Nothings are here to stay- and they’re getting better with age.
Stand-out tracks: ‘I’m Not Part of Me’, ‘No Thoughts’, ‘Psychic Trauma’, ‘Quieter Today’, ‘Pattern Walks’, seriously, just listen to the whole thing.
**possible top 5 of the year release**