Cloud Nothings: Final Summer (Pure Noise) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, May 21st, 2024  

Cloud Nothings

Final Summer

Pure Noise

Apr 19, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


There is something inherently cathartic in the unbridled guitar rock of Cloud Nothings. The band often sounds like a storm unleashed, forever pushing forward amidst a din of searing riffs and razor-sharp drums. On their new album, Final Summer, they sound as tightly wound as ever but lack the melodic hooks needed to cut through the noise.

This is a high-octane record. Dylan Baldi’s corrosive guitars are pushed right to the front, always threatening to subsume drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist Chris Brown, the pair constantly working to keep a hot engine running underneath the squall. The sound is polished to a lethal sheen by Sarah Tudzin’s airtight mix; those guitars sound positively evil at times. But Baldi’s melodies never really transcend; they suffer from a monochrome blandness that washes out after a few tracks. By the time you reach the record’s second half a vague sense of fatigue creeps in, and rather than invigorate, the constant sonic attack starts to feel one-dimensional.

In the press release for the record Baldi says, “A lot of these songs sort of ended up being about getting by or trying to keep improving despite everything.” He seems primarily concerned with making the most of what you have in life, embracing a hard-won resilience in the face of blunt reality. This theme is crystallized in the two-line punch of “I’d Get Along.” After an almost sunny melody broaches the possibility of derailment, Baldi repeatedly howls the song’s title with such primal force that you’d think he’s throwing out a dare to the universe. Do your worst, he seems to say; I’ll get by.

This simple sentiment carries a deceptive power, and Baldi does it again on album closer “Common Mistake.” With a welcome harmony adding some warmth to balance his bracing guitar, he sings, “this is your life/it’s a common mistake/we’ll be alright/just give more than you take.” Baldi has clearly carved out his own corner of plainspoken wisdom; on Final Summer, unfortunately, the songs don’t quite do his insights justice. (www.cloudnothings.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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