Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else

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On Cloud Nothings’ last LP legendary producer Steve Albini took the ropes to transform the band from a tame power pop rock band into a garage rock/ post hardcore band with raw energy bringing out Dylan Baldi’s great ability to write hooks and to sing with pure passion. He helped them create one of the most acclaimed albums of 2012 by letting them create 9 minute songs like ‘Wasted Days’. These songs were instantly memorable compared to their previous work.

This time round the band don’t have Albini but are still heading in a similar direction as before but this time they’re going for more straight up 3 minute – blow your head off loud garage songs. Baldi’s ability to mix pop melodies to loud music is still in tact and the music is still layered in great guitar work. Their ability to abruptly change the tempo and vocal style all at once creating explosive choruses in a song is something to admire especially in a song like ‘Psychic Trauma’. The penultimate song ‘Pattern Walks’ finds Baldi’s slightly manipulated vocals being drowned out gradually by beautiful guitars that seem to go on and on but never overstays it’s welcome.

All of the ingredients are there as before so why am I feeling slightly disappointed compared to their last album? To tell you the truth it all comes down to this. When I listened to their last album I felt there was clear variety in their songs. When I listen to ‘Here and Nowhere else’ I find that I have to listen to it in segments, never one cohesive piece of work. This is purely because about halfway through the album all of the songs seem to blend in the middle and end up sounding like a same variation of the same song. I feel the band would have benefited from putting all of their raw sound into a more experimental route – the route that the song ‘Pattern Walks’ seems to go into. As great as the songs are when played back to back it somehow turns very monotonous.

6/10

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