“I can’t feel your pain and I feel alright about it” sings Dylan Baldi on the chorus of “Now Here In”, the opening track of Cloud Nothing’s third LP “Here and Nowhere Else.” Opening with an isolated, satisfyingly distorted guitar riff followed by driving drums, steady bass and Baldi’s unmistakable vocals, “Now Here In” is a fantastic first track that leaves the listener anxiously awaiting what sort of satisfying sonic discord is yet to come.
Dylan Baldi has come a long way from recording tunes on Garageband in his parent’s basement during weekends away from college.
In 2010 Cloud Nothings was picked up by Carpark Records, and a year later released a self-titled debut album. In 2012, Cloud Nothings teamed up with rock legend Steve Albini (produced albums for Nirvana and Pixies) who produced their very successful album “Attack on Memory.”
And now, two years later we have “Here and Nowhere Else,” an angst ridden, cathartic and chaotic album that never lets up. Baldi’s vocals sound like, and I mean this in the best way possible, a gravel road with a cold that hates his parents.
The vocals fit perfectly with his distorted guitar, which fit perfectly with Jayson Gerycz’s vigorous drumming, which fits perfectly with TJ Duke’s powerful bass lines.
Every sound on this album compliments each other beautifully even when the songs fall into noisy chaos; in fact, those are some of the best moments on the album.
The build-up on the second half of the fourth track, “Just See Fear,” which explodes into Baldi screaming the top of his lungs is one of the most satisfying moments.
Baldi’s screams often end up being the highlight of the song, like the continuous screaming of “SWALLOW!” on the fifth track, “Giving into seeing” or Baldi screaming ”You don’t really seem to care and I don’t wanna talk about it” on the sixth track “No Thoughts.”
“Pattern Walks,” clocking in at more than seven minutes, starts off just as powerfully engaging as the rest of the songs but about halfway through everything except the guitar drops out. It’s as if the whole song just fell apart.
The song continues its path to cacophony as echoed vocals fade in and begin layering on top of itself. As the din continues an almost heavenly sounding guitar begins and leads the song to its noisy, beautiful end.
The album ends with the lead single “I’m not part of me,” which, appropriate for the lead single, is the poppiest of all the tracks.
Although I have to say this is my least favorite song on the album, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it. However, I would say “Pattern Walks” would have been a more suitable end for this fantastic 2014 release.
“Here and Nowhere Else” is already shaping up to be a contender for the 2014 album of the year, and is a great follow-up to 2012’s “Attack on Memory.” As Cloud Nothings continues to refine and develop their sound their next release is sure to be just as good. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
Rock is not dead and Cloud Nothings is a testament to that.