Cloud Nothings - Cloud Nothings (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Cloud Nothings

Cloud Nothings (2011)


Cloud Nothings' self-titled second album is a gleeful, earnest guitar-based punk record consisting of almost nothing but hooks.

Dylan Baldi, the one-man band who plays every instrument on the record, is seemingly so full of catchy riffs and vocal ear-worms that he can't be bothered to flesh any one of them out completely. Instead, he throws two or three songs-worth of ideas into one quick 90-second blast of sunshine punk.

While both his guitar and vocals could use some low-end, the fast-paced choruses and guitar leads on songs like "Rock" and "Understand at All" forgive any audio errors or ADHA tendencies in sequencing and song structure.

Even Baldi's bad ideas, like the faux-Hüsker Dü riffing on "You're Not That Good at Anything" or the impromptu ramshackle at the end of "Not Important," come and go so quickly that listeners will be more inclined to remember the good parts than curse the missteps.

Detractors have said that Cloud Nothings isn't so much an album as it is a collection of 30-second ideas Voltron'd together, but nimble listeners will hear the substance behind the pixie-stick energy: the Polaris-like '90s pop that anchors "Should Have," the pop-punk posturing of "Been Through," the hints of melancholy craftsmanship album's one slowed down track, "Forget You All the Time."

Cloud Nothings is an album bursting with almost too many ideas to hold. Thankfully, nearly all of them are good ideas.

Prog-rockers need not apply; this is an album for the young at heart.