Album review: Cloud Nothings, “Life Without Sound”

by Jon E. Lynch

Cloud Nothings, “Life Without Sound”

Available: Friday, Jan. 27 at your local independent record store via Carpark Records on CD, black vinyl and for the super fan, in limited quantities of Green Marble vinyl.

Recently, a somewhat reputable news and music media outlet essay argued that indie rock is, in fact, alive and well. I suppose that having an involvement/working in college radio, on some level or another since the late ’90s, I never knew it was being eulogized.

I’d concur that loud music, made with guitars and released on small(er) record labels is viable as ever, especially when, this week alone, it was hard to choose just one single record to review here in the pages of DGO. Ty Segall is releasing a self-titled album for heavy-hitting, Chicago-based label Drag City. Vancouver, British Columbia’s Japandroids have their first record in four years on Epitaph subsidiary/sister label ANTI-. Finally, on Washington D.C.’s Carpark Records, we are treated to the fourth long player from Dylan Baldi and his band, Cloud Nothings.

Cloud Nothings began as an alias for Baldi in 2008 to make records of sometimes loud guitar-based rock ’n’ roll. “Life Without Sound” is the latest record from the full band and is their most complete, rounded, and accomplished. The guitar is full force, front-and-center and well-considered. “A thing I like to do with all of my records is drive around with them,” the 25-year-old Cloud Nothings frontman says. “In high school, I would listen to music for hours like that: just driving through the suburbs of Cleveland. And if it sounds good to me in that context and I can think of high-school-me listening to it and saying, ‘That’s OK,’ I feel good about the record. This is the one that’s felt best.” From the standpoint of a listening fan, I agree.

Recommended for fans of the guitar-driven, indie-leaning rock ’n’ roll of the late ’90s and early aughts and artists such as Pavement or Dinosaur Jr. and contemporaries Wavves or Car Seat Headrest.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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