2012’s Attack on Memory by Cloud Nothings was an album that I wanted to like. I mean I usually tend to go for loud, emotional, punk-ish albums produced by Steve Albini. But it just never clicked, and I’d have to attribute this to the fact that Attack On Memory wasn’t so much emotional as it was emo-tional, if you catch my drift. I don’t know if it’s because of the fact that I grew up in the early 2000’s loving classic rock and hating the trendy emo bands of that time, but whenever I hear any young band over-emoting in that kind of way, I can’t help but recoil. Luckily, Cloud Nothings have regressed somewhat from that sound on this album towards the more melodic guitar-pop that marked their early recordings, and I think they’re all the better for it.
One thing that’s always been clear to me about Cloud Nothings is that frontman Dylan Baldi has a pretty innate ear for songwriting despite his band’s more abrasive tendencies. Even though Attack On Memory didn’t work for me as a whole, there were definitely a few songs whose directness and hook-iness had me intrigued. Here And Nowhere Else sees the band easily melding a lot of that angst with these kinds of punchy, melodic anthems, and they’re more often than not pretty infectious. Granted, the album is prone to an ocassional emo-tional outburst, to which I’m still like, “Eh. You should probably do less of that”. But I guess I’m willing to forgive it on the strength of the songs and the fact that at a brisk 31 minutes, this album never lets up.
Or maybe I’m just able to profess my liking of this album because I have no problem sitting through Here And Nowhere Else‘s first seven tracks to get to it’s closing number, “I’m Not Part Of Me”. This has been one of my go-to jams for the last couple weeks, and it’s the kind of teen-angst anthem that feels like a perfect song for the still-pretty-young Baldi to be belting out. I’m just hoping he can learn to mold these pop leanings in to something more fully-formed and mature in the future, but I guess this album often proves that the getting there can be just as compelling.
Favorite Tracks: “Now Here In”, “Just See Fear”, “I’m Not Part Of Me”