It seems like the boys of Cloud Nothings are all grown up with their newest release, Here and Nowhere Else.
Produced and mixed by John Congleton (Modest Mouse, the Walkmen) and released by Carpark Records, Cloud Nothings’ third studio album hasn’t lost any steam. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Dylan Baldi, bassist TJ Duke, and drummer Jayson Gerycz are back with a hard-hitting, but sentimental record.
With its indie-rock, lo-fi, punk sound intact, the trio from Cleveland has successfully held onto its unpolished edge while still being vulnerable.
They bust the gate wide open with opening track “Now Hear In,” with a solid hook and their classically sloppy rhythms. Baldi repeats, “I can feel your pain, and I feel alright about it.” The vocals could be mistaken for The Strokes’, but their rough and fuzzy drum and guitar sound is pure Cloud Nothings.
The lyrics throughout the record aren’t exactly poetry, but they do the job.
Here and Nowhere Else is largely about the past and being pissed off, which is communicated better through Cloud Nothings’ fast and furious rock than with words. Rips “Just See Fear” and “No Thoughts” must be propelled by jet fuel, or maybe just a whole lot of angst.
“Pattern Walks” is a thrashing marathon of sound. The track starts out with disjointed rhythms and dissonant chords that eventually, steadily become cohesive, like a distance runner finding their pace. Baldi bellows, “I thought/I thought/I thought” amidst ripping drum riffs, a charging rhythm, and an airy guitar melody that goes on forever, but unfortunately ends too soon.
Cloud Nothings saved the best for last with “I’m Not Part of Me.” It’s a straightforward, no-holds-barred rock track with smatterings of sentimentality. It opens with a reflective Baldi singing, “It starts right now, there’s a way I was before/But I can’t recall how I was those days anymore/I’m learning how to be here and nowhere else/How to focus on what I can do myself.”
Much of the record is about reflection and growth. While the band has retained its powerful, punk, low-fi sound, it’s also gained maturity. In the final bouncing verse, Baldi sings, “Leave it all to memory of/what we did when were young and/now you could just leave me on my own/Oh, moving toward a new idea/You’re not what I really needed/You could just leave me on my own.” Cloud Nothings stand as a band packed with youthful irreverence while still being sentimental and honest.
With added propulsion, a dash of ethos, and unwavering aggression, Cloud Nothings’ Here and Nowhere Else once again proves that being pissed off can hurt so good.
Cloud Nothings- Here and Nowhere Else tracklist:
- “Now Hear In”
- “Quiet Today”
- “Psychic Trauma”
- “Just See Fear”
- “Giving Into Seeing”
- “No Thoughts”
- “Pattern Walks”
- “I’m Not Part of Me”