Ruth's Manuvas


My musical ramblings – gig and album reviews, music news and views

Cloud Nothings: Cloud Nothings – album review

Cloud Nothings: Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings’ self-titled debut breezes in like a welcome breath of fresh air, just weeks after Britain’s answer to Lady Gaga and My Bloody Valentine’s musical cousin were labelled as 2011’s musical compass.

Signed in the UK to Wichita, Dylan Baldi’s scratchy recording gives it the unpolished warmth of an album recorded two or three decades ago. And its catchy indie-rooted hooks, punk-engorged riffs and lo-fi tendencies give it a teenage bedroom-pop effect that makes it instantly likeable.

The upbeat Understand At All and Not Important are cut from the same cloth. Baldi’s guitar feels unforced and his vocals, ranging from almost helium-drenched to huskily shouted, inject sing-a-long lines and sunny days into his music.

At just over a minute apiece – and delivered in two short, sharp blasts – Heartbeat and Rock are refreshing Pixies’ Vamos-tinged interludes. The glorious guitars are so blisteringly paced that frankly, his declarations of, ‘You loved me but now we’re all dead’, could be saying something far less meaningful and it probably wouldn’t matter.

Sometimes the Ohioan takes you back to The Hives, where the song steamrollers through your aural cavities and rolls around at maximum pace and maximum volume. Then the Best Coast, drawling, melodic vocals haul the tracks wonderfully back from over-familiarity.

One of the highlights of the 11 is Forget You All The Time. It’s so melodic and lo-fi that the lyrics could come straight from the mouth of Kim Deal herself.  You’re Not That Good At Anything and Been Through also bear the same hallmarks of a teenager who’s been heavily influenced by doses of Pixies, and generous helpings of 70s and 80s punk.

Occasionally, the album does go all ‘American teen’. But Dylan’s punk vocals, cleverly combined with a love of airy, jangly riffs and re-crafted lo-fi, should melt many a cynic’s heart that has been frosted over by the chosen would-be big hitters for 2011.


Filed under: album review, , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: