This is the section dedicated to giving artists and tunes a little bit more love. Not because they need it, but because it’s boring listening to the same three chords reverberate around your skull like a bouncy ball. And also because the radio sometimes gets it wrong. Hopefully, everything here will either be established artists who haven’t quite hit the big stages yet or lots of secret B-Sides. In other words, music here begs the question, “How are they not more popular?”
Dylan Baldi (unfortunate name) began writing songs as Cloud Nothings when he was just eighteen. On the debut album (Turning On), he also recorded every instrument himself and the lo-fi garage punk style is there for all to see. But as subsequent albums have rolled out, production has become crisper and the sound is explicitly heavier.
So when the self-titled LP came out, we were treated to short, powerful pop punk tracks that have more character and are replayable than tunes by the likes of Blink 182 and Sum 41 (don’t worry, my flame-shield is already equipped). Just listen to ‘Heartbeat’ because anyone with a real punk background will instantly liken it to tracks from The Ramones. In fact, it’s shorter than most of their sprints with only ‘Durango 95’ being the only one I can think of that lasts less than one minute ten seconds. Forget three chords, ‘Heartbeat’ is so punchy it only has three lyrical lines: “All anyone wants to do is think of sun/All anyone wants to do is live all wrong/I don’t have a heartbeat, why don’t you?”
With three albums in three years, Attach On Memory is the latest example of Dylan’s song-writing progression and although much of the pop punk style has been ironed out, the heavy angst is still very much there. It just lasts a bit longer now with tracks like ‘Wasted Days’ lasting nearly nine minutes. Everything is more considered now and therefore has more dimensions to it which makes the third album the most complete so far. And as someone who started off listening to The Clash, The Ramones (but not Sex Pistols), Cloud Nothings is one of the few new punk bands I would happily put alongside London Calling.
Turning On – ‘Can’t Stay Awake’
Cloud Nothings – ‘Nothing’s Wrong’
Cloud Nothings – ‘Heartbeat’
Attack On Memory – ‘Wasted Days’
Attack On Memory – ‘Stay Useless’