Cloud Nothings - Attack On Memory (Cover Artwork)

Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings: Attack On MemoryAttack On Memory (2012)

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: WeWillMakeYouCrawlWeWillMakeYouCrawl
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Cloud Nothings' Dylan Baldi makes it very clear that he is not interested in producing the nostalgic lo-fi indie rock that has been increasingly popular over the past few years. Beyond the overt lyrical references to this and the title of the record, Attack On Memory follows through by sounding forw.
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Cloud Nothings' Dylan Baldi makes it very clear that he is not interested in producing the nostalgic lo-fi indie rock that has been increasingly popular over the past few years. Beyond the overt lyrical references to this and the title of the record, Attack On Memory follows through by sounding forward-thinking and assertive, combining catchy melodies and powerful songwriting with punk sensibilities. This album has an urgency and pace to it that makes it immediately exciting from the first listen and is a refreshing change of pase from the hazy lethargy of years past to start 2012.

The album opens with the slow-burning "No Future/No Past," which reaches its exhilarating crescendo in a concise three-and-a-half minutes and is a fitting introduction to the record's sound. Baldi's strained vocals climb to a scream with the instrumentation before slipping into the longest track on the album, "Wasted Days." This track continues the lyrical themes of despair and frustration with a heavy chorus of "I thought I would be more than this," and features the mixture of melody and intensity that is the record's sonic cornerstone. Blisteringly intense drums propel one riff after another and reinforce this album's no-bullshit attitude. Not a single note or second is wasted (that would be rather hypocritical, wouldn't it?) and the song earns all of its almost nine minutes.

Even the production reflects Attack On Memory‚??s assertive motivation, which is not surprising as the band worked with Steve Albini, the musical king of "no bullshit." It is crystal clear and as heavy as it could be with this style of music, giving the bass and drums enough room to breathe energy into every song while allowing for Baldi's crunchy guitar and melodic, albeit raw vocals to drive home the message. The record sounds fantastic without falling into the trap of overproduction and is an excellent complement to the strong songwriting.

At just over 30 minutes, this album lives up to its stylistic brevity, even throwing in an instrumental, "Separation," that is possibly the most energetic and frantic song on the album and never loses focus over its three minutes. There is a decent balance between the more melodic tracks like "Stay Useless" and "Falling In" with bangers like "Wasted Days" and "No Sentiment," though much of the album's strength lies in its ability to reconcile the two into a furious call-to-arms against nostalgia and escapism. It seems like it has been a while since an album showed so much purpose and transparency and while Attack On Memory‚??s staying power may be tested very quickly due to its simplistic approach and streamlined songwriting, it stands for now as an exciting start to the year.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Sciulli (December 3, 2013)

first song is awesome. Love this record.

thrillho (June 15, 2012)

Initially I was turned off by the first song, but then I gave it another listen and I have to say that aside from that first song, this album has some reaally good tunes (stay useless, separation).

whatchokesbegin (February 3, 2012)

I gave it one star because it's boring and I don't like it. I was playing loose with my reasons because I don't care. It was quite obvious, really. Place your hand near your ass and calmly remove the stick. You'll feel better.

Libra (February 3, 2012)

You're the real prick, since you've just demonstrated that your criteria for grading music is deeply flawed and childish.

whatchokesbegin (February 2, 2012)

I wanted to give this four stars.

But it lost one for EchosMyron being a usual prick about it and another for the band requiring you to "like" them on facebook BEFORE you get to try it out (a minor inconvenience, but really damn pretentious).

Lost the other for putting me to sleep.

leecorsoisapenis (February 2, 2012)

Fuck, this album is good.

mrdogg45 (February 2, 2012)

Thanks for the clarification, EchosMyron. That explains it. To me, homage or not, it still throws a big stopper in an otherwise good song.

I guess I just prefer the more loose, more pop-punk leanings of the last album. Like I said, I still like the band and hope they continue to grow.

EchosMyron (February 1, 2012)

Um, yeah, it does, seeing as it's intended as an homage to the Wipers' "Youth of America." Idiot.

mrdogg45 (January 31, 2012)

Pretty good album. Some very good songs ("Stay Useless" and "Fall In" come to mind), but there is also a lot of slog to get through (Jesus, dose "Wasted Days" really need to be 8 minutes long?).

I get that this is more focused work and it definitely shows some growth, but it loses a little of its ramshackle charm in the process.Then again, this is how bands make careers instead one-off albums. We'll see, I guess.

enchilobster (January 31, 2012)

Huh, sounds cool.

EchosMyron (January 31, 2012)

Looks like all the ridiculous Pitchfork bashers have started submitting their ratings.

calvinrhodes1 (January 31, 2012)

Thank you for reviewing this. Putting the ROCK back in indie rock!!!

eatdogs (January 31, 2012)

this band is coolio.

TheMike (January 31, 2012)

"One of their own"? Wtf, I'd never seen anything about Cloud Nothings on Pitchfork until this album came out, and I usually read it every day.

Blackjaw_ (January 31, 2012)

Really good. Should end up in my top 20 or 30. I like how Pitchfork ignores every band like this for years, but when "one of their own" makes an album like this it's suddenly cool again. Whatever, shouldn't complain.

colin (January 31, 2012)

"wasted days" is so, so good. this album rules.

facetofacereunion08 (January 31, 2012)

Just discovered this band today cuz of their single "stay useless" which i like

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