Album Review: Cloud Nothings – Cloud Nothings

By on Tuesday, 8th March 2011 at 2:00 pm

Words by Marc Saunders

Within just a year, Cleveland punk-pop outfit Cloud Nothings has hoisted itself from the murky waters of being just another MySpace band to becoming one of the most exciting acts of 2011. Surrounded by a phenomenal hype overseas, this year has seen the debut release of the group’s superb self-titled album. However, what makes this feat even more extraordinary is the fascinating reality that Cloud Nothings is actually the product of 19-year old mastermind Dylan Baldi. Recording each and every instrument on the album, the multi-instrumentalist has demonstrated his musical diversity within a collection of bouncy, energetic and effervescent tracks.

Cloud Nothings’ record is a perfect example of what happens when a genuinely dedicated musician is placed in a recording studio. Having been recently signed to Carpark Records, Baldi’s fairytale breakthrough into the pop scene is condensed into 11 short songs; the longest being just under three and a half minutes, and the shortest being just over a minute.

There is always the fear that punk pop generates the same regurgitated songs, barely unrecognisable from each other. Nonetheless, Cloud Nothings cannot be separated into this category. The sheer diversity in each of the tracks is mesmerising. One such track that stands out is ‘You’re Not That Good at Anything’, a remarkably audible blend between the traditional Irish guitar melodies of Dropkick Murphys and the sloppy grunge of early Nirvana.

The slightly slower-paced ‘Forget You All the Time’ is reminiscent of a sweet collision between the Stone Roses and the La’s. Bizarre, seeing as Baldi’s music is unmistakably built open Americana punk rock. Nevertheless, this almost continental hybrid between Britpop and punk couldn’t be more fitting in the high school rock anthems of Cloud Nothings.

Perhaps one of 2011’s only records around that will guarantee a second play-through, Cloud Nothings’ debut is irresistibly enticing. For fans of the buoyant pop of Darwin Deez and the rich-in-heritage punk of the Gaslight Anthem, Dylan Baldi’s first, full-length album is a perfect lifeline in between.


‘Cloud Nothings’ is available now from Carpark Records.

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