November 2, 2011

Song Review: Cloud Nothings' "No Future / No Past"

Saluted as one of AwkwardSound's Best Breakthrough Artists of 2011, Cloud Nothings are already following through on expectations with plans to release their sophomore effort, Attack On Memory on January 24th via Carpark Records. The one thing AS did not expect so soon from the Cleveland indie-punks was the quartet's huge growth spurt as artists since debuting their self-titled LP last January. On "No Future / No Past," the album's opening track, Dylan Baldi and company show off a polished flair as a fully-fleshed four-piece rock band that contrasts dramatically against the warm, two-toned bedroom pop born out of Baldi's previous efforts. Overall, it's meaner and much more muscular than anything Cloud Nothings has ever put out before, with the closest resemblance being "Forget You All the Time." Where as the focus used to revolve around Baldi's power chord prowess, "No Future / No Past" engages all four angles of the band as it slowly plots its way into your speaker, ultimately smoldering into a fury of rage at its peak. The opening piano is ominously dark, and it's soon met with a heavy-hearted bass and drum line as Baldi sneaks in from the backdoor on guitar -- No longer boyishly nasal, but scratchy and anguished. It's in the 20-year-old frontman's shrills that climax at the 3:40 mark as "No Future / No Past" tapers toward its end where you realize Baldi's naive schoolboy take on love heard on "Should Have" has since been hardened and molded by Albini into aggressive punk fitting for Dischord Records' back catalog. Dealing with love's growing pains are a harsh reality when you're getting older, but on "No Future / No Past," Cloud Nothings sound like they're making the best out of where it hurts.

Cloud Nothings - "No Future / No Past"

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