CLOUD NOTHINGS – ” Here And Nowhere Else ” Best Albums of 2014

Posted: October 15, 2016 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Here and Nowhere Else

On Here and Nowhere Else, which was produced by John Congleton (St. Vincent, Erykah Badu, R. Kelly (!?)), Cloud Nothings take the best bits from their previous tutelage under alt-god producer Steve Albini, apply them to lo-fi pop-punk structures and infuse all of it with tightly wound angst. If the first indicator of this fusion was the immediately hooky lead single “I’m Not Part of Me,” then album opener “Now Hear In” is the case in point. An incisive mission statement right down to its title, the song marries fevered riffs with a bass-heavy chorus. It’s upbeat punk, but Dylan Baldi’s lyrics about his vexing past provide a dour counterpoint that sets the tone for the entire album.

This album is full of attacking, confrontational and in your face anthems. Opener “Now Here In” pounds along driven by the drums at a decent pace and Baldi’s maturing vocals. The band are in total control and avoid the mistake of a headlong rush to the finish. Songs like the powerful “Quieter Today” increase the foot on the gas, but Baldi’s pop sensibilities are ever present not least on “Physic Trauma” which does that Pixies quiet loud thing with Baldi’s vocals at one point strained to breaking point. This is taken to its logical conclusion on the post punk thrash “Giving into Seeing” easily the toughest thing on the album, like a speeded up Slint played at the wrong speed. The longest and best track on the album is “Pattern Walks” a veritable mini epic of stirring cacophony and garage rock sensibility. The whole thing is rounded off by the single “I’m not part of me” with its slight Ramones tinge and sing-along chanted chorus.

The Cloud Nothings have produced an album of big songs and even bigger riffs. They do not however descend into the sort of happy clappy emo rock which has spread like a virus through young American Bands over recent years. “Here and Nowhere Else” shows that Cloud Nothings are picking up the mantle of some of their classic predecessors.

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