Late teens seem to be prime music making years. Surfer Blood, Smith Westerns and now Cloud Nothings all released amazing music before they could even buy a beer. Cloud Nothings now has their turn to explode onto the scene as those first two already have. Dylan Baldi’s first releases were self-recorded and obviously so. Entering a studio to record his self-titled album was necessary in order to expand his sound. Cloud Nothings has the same feel as Baldi’s first album but refined in all the areas needed to advance his sound to the next level.
Baldi’s sound on Cloud Nothings is refined, but raw. Baldi’s first album was hard to classify in any other genre besides lo-fi with hints of pop. Like Smith Westerns and Wavves, Cloud Nothings have moved away from lo-fi and into a studio to let their real sound flourish. With Cloud Nothings their sound has progressed to an almost overpowering punk feel with the same pop undertones. From the opener, “Understand At All” to “Not Important,” “Rock” and “Heartbeat,” you cannot help but feel the strong punk undertones to the tracks. This album makes you want to move. Gets you up out of bed and jump all over the place. If you are trying to cut caffeine out of your diet and need something else to energize you, throw this on your iPod and go. You cannot help but go crazy. Song after song is engaging in a way few other artists are today. This album has practically as much energy as anything by Matt & Kim and has the potential to be one of the most fun albums of 2011.
“Understand At All”, the single and first song on the album, encapsulates the entire record in two minutes. The passion and punk edge show everything that the album holds. As you move deeper into the album you realize the joy it brings. You feel everything that is inside the songs and know that this can be a great album. Cloud Nothings has room for improvement, but that is to be expected with guys this young. This is only their first studio album, but everything about it will go above any expectations you have for them. The potential for even greater work is there, but we will have to wait to see how they progress.
Of all the songs on the album one stands out through all the others, “Forget You All The Time.” Every other song is fast-paced, energizing music, but then there is “Forget You All The Time.” This song is slow and has a strong feeling of melancholy. It shows the vast potential Cloud Nothings may have in the future. Baldi put his real artistic potential into this track. He showed that there is more to him than screaming into a microphone and playing music really fast. His musical abilities are vast and barley tapped into. His future looks bright and he is barely out of high school.
LISTEN: “Understand At All”
WPGU Music Staff Rating: W-P-G
Key Tracks: “Should Have, “Forget You All The Time” and “Understand At All”
Recommended if you like: Smith Westerns, No Age & Surfer Blood.
W = Poor
W-P = Fair
W-P-G = Great
W-P-G-U = An instant classic!