Day 343: Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory

6 Feb

Stay Useless

“I must have gotten my hands on a mis-tagged album,” I thought to myself only 30 seconds in to Cloud Nothing’s new LP, Attack on Memory.  This stuff sounds almost nothing like Turning On, which I discussed on Day 37.  Since that post, I’ve become a fan of the band, even going as far as to see them in concert last September.  The group’s drastic change in direction—from fuzzy-buzzy-lo-fi-indie-gloriousness, to almost Nirvana-esque grunge-ish rock—was disappointing at first.  Once I came to terms with the fact that the old band I have grown to love is gone, I was able to embrace this new, remarkably darker sound.

A big reason behind the change in Cloud Nothings’ attitude seems to come from improved recording and production quality.  In contrast to the band’s earlier releases, Attack sounds like it was recorded in an actual studio, as opposed to in a kitchen (straight to a MacBook).  Frontman Dylan Baldi’s lyrics are actually comprehensible—you would never have been able to understand a shout of “I thought I would be more than this!” on Nothings’ earlier releases, whether the lyrics were there or not. And while the twangy guitar hooks are still all over the place, they’re noticeably less cute when not hiding behind a massive layer of fuzz.

Sure, Attack on Memory is a little different. But it’s really good, and can definitely stand on its own.  If a band can make such dramatic alterations to their sound, but still remain good (and clearly the same band), well, that’s just awesome.

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