Artist: Cloud Nothings
Title: “Attack on Memory”
With a name such as Cloud Nothings, I expected a fluffy dream pop record.
What a surprise.
Music reminds me of fashion in the sense that it’s repackaging something over and over, but, somehow, making it feel innovative. There’s something fresh and intangible about “Attack on Memory” despite mining a post-hardcore sound that has existed for the better part of two decades.
This record puts punk’s tenacity through a pop filter without sacrificing any of its rawness. Singer Dylan Baldi’s pained wail grows irritating even in the record’s short 33 minutes, with a yelp reminiscent of Kurt Cobain when he strained to yell in an upper register he couldn’t hit.
While “Attack” does so with a buzzy, fuzzy, throttling production, it’s also circumspect about aspirations and the lamentations of the passage of time. “I need time to stay useless / I need time to stop moving,” Baldi sings on the fourth track. Elsewhere, on “Wasted Days,” he shows self-disappointment: “I thought I would be more than this.”
Baldi’s dissatisfaction provides fodder for his lyrics and his rhythms. His frayed wail provides an urgency that matches the intensity of the band’s post-hardcore delivery.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.