Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound
We know what to expect from Cloud Nothings’ Dylan Baldi by now. Now six years into his career under his Cloud Nothings alias, Baldi has carved out his reputation from writing tangled rock songs that encapsulate those 20-something mood swings of feeling peppy then nihilistic in a very short timespan. On the band’s fourth record Life Without Sound we hear Baldi taking a more polished and ruminative approach under producer John Goodmanson.
Although the record was written in less hectic circumstances than 2014’s Here and Nowhere Else, Cloud Nothings’ pace certainly doesn’t drop, as the haunting piano that starts opener Up to the Surface quickly makes way for Baldi’s usual dramatic power chords and yowls, supported by TJ Jake’s motorik bass and Jayson Gerycz’s dynamic drumming. ‘Saw what I’d done and who I’d been/I wasn’t comfortable with me,’ Baldi reflects on the anthemic Things Are Right With You, and on Life Without Sound we sense him being more outward than ever in his lyrical scope, with the catchy war-and-God-referencing Modern Act providing the greatest balance between melody and wisdom.
Although Baldi has more observations to share than his previous records – and makes them with snarling passion and versatility – that added maturity isn’t quite matched by his songs yet, with the mellowed Enter Entirely soured by the discordant chaotic tantrums of Strange Year and Realise My Fate. While bracing throwbacks, they serve to obscure his new insights. Baldi’s certainly matured; all he needs now is for his music to catch up.
Listen to: Things Are Right With You, Modern Act, Enter Entirely