June 18, 2019

Never Halfway with Cloud Nothings

(Photo/Abby Jeffers’18)

Cleveland’s pop-punk band Cloud Nothings has always pushed the limits of mainstream indie rock.

Its first four albums were an abstract mess of post-punk glory, and despite claims that the fifth album sacrifices that passion for popularity, the band goes all out on these nine songs.

After adding guitarist Chris Brown to the band, “Life Without Sound” is cleaner than the previous four records – sounding less like it was recorded in the basement of lead vocalist Dylan Baldi. Whether that’s a positive change or a detriment depends on the listener, but there’s no denying that the sound is much more refined.

The high-energy album has an undeniable level of intensity. This band doesn’t do anything halfway, and that fact has never been more clear.

From the fervent instrumental solos in “Darkened Rings” to heavy tension in “Up To The Surface,” each song proves the critics wrong with passion and power.

Seeing the band perform this album live is equally enthralling. After the concert at the A&R Music Bar this January, the room felt as if every drop of energy had been wrung out.

Everyone, from the mosh pit to the band itself, looked happily exhausted, and if that doesn’t sum up the mood of the album, I don’t know what will.