Cloud Nothings

Life Without Sound

Carpark

Feb 27, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


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Four albums in, Cleveland rock band Cloud Nothings still seem in search of something. From their snotty 2011 self-titled debut, through 2012's breakthrough Attack on Memory and its thundering 2014 follow-up, Here and Nowhere Else, one constant in frontman Dylan Baldi's songwriting is a dissatisfaction with the status quo, a desire to move on to something better. One of their most celebrated songs features a repeated shout of "I thought there would be more than this!" So it's no surprise that Life Without Sound, although featuring more midtempo tracks than ever before, finds Cloud Nothings embracing the state of continual searching.

The early singles from Life Without Sound seemed to suggest a band smoothing out its rough, punk-rock edges in favor of clean melodies and production. And while the melodic hooks in "Modern Act" and "Enter Entirely" are among the best in the band's career, they don't exactly represent the whole of what this album has to offer. A quick listen to "Darkened Rings" or "Realize My Fate" (which is easily Cloud Nothings' best album closer to date) proves that Baldi and company still know how to thrash around a bit. Plus, it's not like the band was ever a stranger to pop hooks in the first place.

Ultimately, Life Without Sound cements Cloud Nothings' place in the indie rock landscape, but beyond offering some real power-pop gems and the most refined production in their discography, it doesn't do much else. It's a solid pop-rock album, but until they learn some new tricks, Cloud Nothings will just have to continue their search for whatever they're looking for. (www.cloudnothings.com)

Author rating: 6.5/10

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