Review Summary: Feel good music for people who don't care if they feel good...
After twenty-one years of life in Ohio, it’s safe to say that there is no place I’d rather be, and no place that I’d rather escape from. Don’t get me wrong, Ohio’s got it all, but at the same time it’s barren, flat, and holds pretty much nothing of incredible interest, like some of the “glitz and glam” states, falling somewhere between Arkansas and Idaho on the imaginary “State Coolness scale“. However, Ohio-- the picturesque “Heart of It All”--is honest, genuine, and filled to the brim with exuberance and personality, making it the perfect place to birth Cloud Nothings’ self-titled debut.
You see, Cloud Nothings exist in a world where no one gives a *** about where their music may take them; where veritable passion and creativity trump long term goals and aspirations. Cloud Nothings
feels so free in this sense, embracing every pithy aspect of a scrappy young garage band, all while taking cues from the modern day indie rock scene. At its core, however, the album is a completely “rock and roll” effort, utilizing the guitarist/bassist/drummer/vocalist paradigm to its full extent. Added to that, the lo-fi production lets every little imperfection slide, only adding to the overall genuine and honest nature of the music. It sounds a bit hackneyed, and a tad cheap, but it all converges into an unrefined, but charming, mixture of reckless, youthful abandon, and ardent musicianship.
At a little less than a half an hour, Cloud Nothings
gets its point across in a very brief amount of time. Were it a minute longer, the album would surely wear out its welcome--it is short, but short with purpose. The simplistic song structure is kind of conducive to bouts of boredom, but Cloud Nothings really prevent this, keeping the energy up with curt little bursts, as no song even comes close to the four minute mark. The pace is incredible, letting the album chug along blissfully, while at the same time allowing for the listener to appreciate everything the work has to offer. Tracks like “Heartbeat” and “You’re No Good At Anything” blaze with an nigh-angry fervor, while “All the Time” and “Should Have” have a more mellow, heartfelt tone. Hell, “Nothing’s Wrong” is even throws a dance-y track into the mix. The variety of tracks like these make Cloud Nothings
a joy, for the cool jams and lackadaisical anthems are pertinent for any mood.
is heartily enjoyable--an album that sardonically brushes off expectations, embracing the exploratory feeling that rock and roll once had. It’s a bit shallow, sure, but the catchy, capricious nature of the short, bombastic tracks make for an endlessly playable, and wholly entertaining, debut album.