Cloud Nothings – Here And Nowhere Else – Review
Written by Staff on December 30, 2023
Cloud Nothings – Here And Nowhere Else –Review by Joshua Reedy.
My copy: 2014 press by Carpark Records and Mom + Pop.
Cloud Nothings had built up steam from their early, lo-fi rock sounds, now releasing material consistently for Carpark Records. Here And Nowhere Else heightened their mass appeal by focusing largely on heavy, post-hardcore production choices within mostly shorter tracks.
Dylan Baldi’s vocals have evolved, with his vocal melodies often standing as the most memorable parts of songs like “Now Here In,” which is able to work in poppier ideas without compromising too much on the punk sound. Unlike bands like Waaves, Fidlar, etc. Cloud Nothings are able to retain some semblance of mystique within what would otherwise be suitable writing for cock-rock. “Quieter Today” is a bit worrying with anthemic chords, but the riffs detour into dissonant bends that give an overall manic energy. The tempo rolls back a touch for “Psychic Trauma’s” verses, before upping the pressure for paranoid and accusatory choruses.
“Just See Fear” plays with softer vocal melodies and choppy guitar riffing, the first half leaning too close to pop-punk though the latter half does burn into a sour frenzy that saves the track. The drums shine more than usual on “Giving Into Seeing” while the vocal highlight of the record is the repeated agonizing of “No Thoughts.” The obligatory longer song is found in the seven-minute “No Walks” which delights in some patient rhythmic construction, paying off with shockingly sweet droning harmonies that tread a careful line between unwelcome gimmick and brilliance. “I’m Not Part Of Me” is the big hit, but it is honestly one of the dullest tracks; lacking in both grandeur and aggression.
One thing that is crucial for this style of music is that the band understands their limits as writers: for a punk band with a simple setup, Cloud Nothings ensure that very little time is wasted in their 30-ish minutes of music. This is not revolutionary in sound by any means, but the distortion is nicely dialed in, with a rhythm section that is produced to compliment the emotional havoc wreaked by the vocals. Compared to a handful of their contemporaries, Cloud Nothings are an obvious choice for straightforward, honest modern punk.