I have finally found a newer rock band that I am excited about. (About fucking time! You have no idea the amount of time I spend searching newer records sometimes, hoping something will connect in any genre, only to come up empty handed.) They are the Cloud Nothings and their album Here and Nowhere Else is fantastic. Although I can’t say at this point they are necessarily doing something new, all the elements are in place musically and melodically, along with insanely enthusiastic playing, to create an exciting emotional experience. And they are really young, with potential to get even better. I discovered them through their collaboration with Wavves and went backwards. (That collaboration is also really great, but slightly different in what makes it so.)
What I really like about them, even if you could criticize the fact that they aren’t moving the ball forward, is they get the overall picture right. I feel like a dumbass writing this, but the record simply fucking rocks. There are very few newer bands that you listen to that sound like they are exploding from your speakers with sheer exuberance. This record also sounds like a rock record should, with a tight punchy sound that, while probably more polished than it appears, doesn’t get in the way of the band’s dynamics. And Baldi writes songs that are consistently full of hooks. There is also enough mystery and artistry in the songs and recordings that they live up to repeated plays. Unlike a lot of other modern “rock” bands, everything is not on the surface. It’s that combination of unhinged energy and controlled melodicism, mixed with slight mystery, that make them stand out. Some new bands have exciting musical moments or hooks, but the combination is actually rare.
I should mention that a band is only as great as their drummer and the drumming on this album is ridiculous. I am seriously wondering if the drummer was eating speed before each take.
P.S. I haven’t heard their earlier albums other than clips. The one before this sounds promising, they all sound like they have their charms, but the early albums are different. They are more of a lo-fi rock experience. The band is still really young. As with bands in the 60’s, when bands often had several albums to get it together, bands often take time to gel.