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Album Review: Cloud Nothings’ ‘Here and Nowhere Else’

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Annie Zaleski

Four stars

Cloud Nothings Here and Nowhere Else

Indie darlings Cloud Nothings—a trio fronted by easygoing Cleveland native Dylan Baldi—pack plenty of inspiration into their compact three-minute songs: scratchy Sonic Youth-style guitar menace, Nirvana-caliber grunge-punk and pummeling distorto-fuzz. On the band’s third album, Here and Nowhere Else, producer John Congleton amplifies these influences without letting things go haywire. Cloud Nothings’ guitars and drums are more aggressive and sharp-elbowed, especially on “No Thoughts” and the frenetic “Now Hear In.” Speedier tempos and more prominent basslines—e.g., the boiling low end of “Quieter Today,” the runaway-train pace of “Psychic Trauma”—add velocity. Yet Here and Nowhere Else is deceptively simple: The seven-minute “Pattern Walks,” for example, starts at sinister post-punk before warping into a disorienting, psych-noise wind tunnel. Throw in lyrics enlightened by the ups and downs of adulthood, from learning to let go of the past to having previous emotional baggage resurface, and the result is an album that’s ferociously irresistible.

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