Showing posts with label cloud nothings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cloud nothings. Show all posts

Monday, October 22, 2018

video review: 'last building burning' by cloud nothings

So yeah, this album was awesome - hard to tell how much traffic the review will wind up getting as we're dealing with indie rock that still seems a bit under the radar, but we'll see.

Next up, either Billboard BREAKDOWN or another great project that I can knock out quickly, so stay tuned!

album review: 'last building burning' by cloud nothings

Yeah, I won't lie, I was a little worried about this one.

See, I was among the few that actually seemed willing to get on-board with Cloud Nothings making a more accessible, borderline pop punk-friendly record in 2017 in Life Without Sound - no, it wasn't the razor-sharp explosion that characterized Attack On Memory which remains their best work, but I didn't expect that to return. And by hiring a second guitarist to flesh out the melodies, I actually found a lot to like on that project, an album that at least seemed wiling to push the band out of their comfort zone, both sonically and lyrically.

And yet given the rather mixed critical reception that project got, I wasn't surprised when buzz was suggesting the band was going to wrench their sound back into darker territory - and when I say 'dark', I mean hiring Randall Dunn, a producer most well known for Earth, Sunn O))) and Wolves In The Throne Room, the last being a black metal band. And when you hear that the band was intentionally looking to go back to the scuzzy, nastier era produced by Steve Albini... well, I had high hopes, but this might wind up as a very different animal than I was expecting. But hey, what did Cloud Nothings deliver on Last Building Burning?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

video review: 'life without sound' by cloud nothings

Well, this was way too long in coming, but I'm kind of happy it happened. Also, the horizon line on the album cover somehow synced up with my couch and it's unnerving as all hell, I can't not see it...

Anyway, more indie rock next, stay tuned!

album review: 'life without sound' by cloud nothings

I tend to talk a lot about artistic progression in these reviews, how artists choose to evolve or mature their sound over time, placing everything in context. But here's the unfortunate other side of all of this: sometimes an act might grow or mature or evolve in a particular way that might be good for the band, but not always to my tastes as a critic. And I can't tell you how unbelievably frustrating that is, especially if you can tell the level of quality remains the same - but it happens. Sometimes it just doesn't catch your ear in the same way, it doesn't resonate on the same level.

So take Cloud Nothings for instance. Like most people, I really loved their 2012 Steve Albini-produced album Attack On Memory for its bite and smart hooks and well-defined writing. And yet when they released the follow-up two years later... see, it wasn't that the album was bad, but it didn't have the same edge. Part of which I will blame on a change in producers to John Congleton, but the hooks just weren't as sticky to me, it just didn't feel as sharp, partially because of the loss of their main guitarist and partially because the production seemed to muddy the band's strengths by pushing into fuzzier territory. It just didn't feel as immediate or gripping, and when word was coming down the pipe that this new project Life Without Sound was going to be both a little cleaner - courtesy of producer John Goodmanson, known for his work with Sleater-Kinney and Deathcab For Cutie - a little brighter, a little more relaxed... well, I had concerns. But hey, did Cloud Nothings surpass my expectations?

Monday, April 14, 2014

video review: 'here and nowhere else' by cloud nothings

And that was the second album that I had to get out of my system! Whew, that feels good.

Okay, this week we're going headlong into hard rock and metal, because Gotthard, The Oath, Delain, the solo record from Tuomas Holopainen, and hell, I'll even throw Ratking under this umbrella - they all dropped albums and I'm going to cover them. Hell, I might even cover Emmure's new album!

Just kidding, that won't happen. I actually value my time.

album review: 'here and nowhere else' by cloud nothings

It's always a risk when a band makes a choice to go dark.

Because let's face it, while there have been several acts who have made the shift work, it's always jarring for the initial audience and there's the long list of bands whose careers imploded by making a 'dark' album. And depending on the critical or popular acceptance, it can shape the course of bands for better or for much worse.

So when power pop group Cloud Nothings announced they were working with legendary audio engineer Steve Albini and were tackling darker material, some original fans had to been feeling uneasy. This was a band who had been steadily advancing with pretty damn solid power pop that skirted the edges of lo-fi, and the question of whether they'd be capable of delivering the same quality - even with Albini, who worked with The Pixies and Nirvana - had to have been raised.

And yet in 2012, they delivered with Attack On Memory, a goddamn great album that showed the band taking huge steps in a more interesting and dynamic direction with a great melodic focus, solid lyrics, and a concept dedicated to rectifying their fans' preconceived image of the band. And what was better was that the album actually turned into a pretty solid commercial hit on its own, being many people's - including mine - first exposure to the band. And thus when they announced a follow-up without Albini or their former guitarist Joe Boyer, I was curious to see where they'd take their musical direction - would they advance even further or would they backslide?