Album Review: Cloud Nothings, ‘Here and Nowhere’


Cleveland rocker Dylan Baldi has plenty to be proud of in his short music career. The mastermind behind Cloud Nothings has seen his project blossom from a one man show to a full fledged band that procured so much commotion that they caught Steve Albini’s attention and produced their break out 2012 effort Attack on Memory. Some fans maybe disappointed to know that Here and Nowhere Else, his fourth release in five years follows in almost continuous mindset from Attack on Memory with a glistening array of fast, joyful sonic euphoria never letting off the crunchy, band practice-esque accelerator but that is perfectly fine.


In the absence of former member Joe Boyer, Baldi has taken up double duty on the guitar front creating a more frantic style that covers all basis in the grimy muck of lo-fi glory and the twinkling melodies of energetic and indecisive indie noise. Don’t believe me? Look no further than the ironically titled “Quieter Today” that exhausts itself in a tireless effort to be louder and bombastic. Regardless of increased duties Baldi has implored the KISS method (Keep it simple, stupid) for creating simple, upbeat thrashings of noise rock like “Psychic Trauma” that unleash memories of the past on the punk, indie, and alternative fronts.

There is so much going on and if titles like “Just See Fear” and “I’m Not Part of Me” didn’t say enough a frantic pacing of ideas shows off a lack of cohesiveness that is no doubt intentional. Still most of the songs have a happy sheen no less that differs greatly from the rough and tough nature of their previous effort. “Let’s brighten it up for the kids” is what I hope Baldi was thinking and really many of these tracks have the benefit of having as much energy as it does craft regardless of the mess that they project so beautifully.

While Here and Nowhere Else is at full speed for the majority of its duration the seven minute “Pattern Walks” offers something that Baldi probably would have never dared a few albums back. An exhaustion overlooks this shadowy, wall of echo that displays all kinds of craziness and genius and while “I’m Not Part of Me” delivers one more polished, up beat bit of indie goodness the former track displays leaps and bounds the band’s further potential come their next recorded outing. Here and Nowhere Else doesn’t feel far removed from their other releases but it’s an arsenal of fast, lo-fi numbers best worn on a car stereo, windows down, and straddling the surface of the road.

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