A sequel that’s faster, flashier and more bombastic than the original
Album Review: Cloud Nothings - Cloud Nothings (Wichita)
Dylan Baldi matures from his scuzzy lo-fi origins with pop nous and fizzy hooks intact
Along with everything else last year that was branded ‘lo-fi’ or ‘scuzzy’, the blogosphere tossed itself dry over the one-man band. ‘Turning On’ did, however sound like it had been recorded in a drink can with tin-pot instruments and sung through a snorkel. But for all its technical shortcomings, it did map out a blueprint of latent pop gems – albeit in the manner of a Crayola on a fag packet.
Baldi’s debut album proper, titled under his moniker Cloud Nothings, has made his scribbles and mumblings more audible. Moreover, his ear for a hook and a holler filters through with detail beyond the debris of white noise that plagued his home recordings.
The result is a fun, frenetic and crisp debut that is more resplendent than his lo-fi scuzz. ‘Understand At All’ and ‘Not Important’ burst through the door like gunmen with jittery fingers, as snare drums snap against unhinged guitar hooks akin to the Buzzcocks. ‘Should Have’ cuts a similarly bouncy intro to that of Pixies’ ‘The Holiday Song’, as ‘Rock’ bites like a rabid Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers grimacing over ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’. There are moments when ‘Cloud Nothings’ sounds like your average punk-pop record, but Baldi is willing to render outside the lines with his own idiosyncratic noodlings and daubs of C86-era colour.
Thomas A Ward
Click here to get your copy of Cloud Nothings' 'Cloud Nothings' from Rough Trade Shops.
7 out of 10
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