Cloud Nothings is a band that I have only heard about in passing, but never had a chance to sit down and listen to. So, upon sitting down with their fourth full-length Here and Nowhere Else, I took it upon myself to catch up and not only experience the music, but learn about the band as well. The band hails from Cleveland, Ohio and consists of singer/songwriter/guitarist Dylan Baldi, drummer Jayson Gerycz and bassist TJ Duke. Originally, the band was a solo project headed by Baldi, who would in turn perform with a live band for shows (ala Trent with Nine Inch Nails live). A lot of dedication goes into forming a group on your own accord and morphing it into a full project, but Cloud Nothings has definitely grown into their own monster, one that has totally given me a new appreciation of the indie rock scene.
Here and Nowhere Else begins with “Now Hear In” which pulls the listener in with a garage rock-esque sound that gradually builds with intensity. However, instead of losing the sheer power of the song in a muddled mess of distortion and feedback as so many garage rock albums do, Here and Nowhere Else sounds damn near impeccable. The mix is superb, with no one instrument turned up too loud over any other creating a well-balanced, yet strong piece of work throughout, with Baldi’s lyrics being the glue that holds the album together. “Psychic Trauma” comes in messy and sporadic, with the lyrics telling a story that’s as demented as the sound. For lack of a better word, the entire thing is glorious, quickly becoming a standout on the album. “Just See Fear” comes in as my second favorite song on the record. Lyrically, it hits close to the way that “Psychic Trauma” feels as a whole, but the accompanying music is insanely strong, even at the point of screaming along with the lyrics, so much power is pushed into the track and it just swells on and on leaving you wanting more even as the song fades to oblivion. “Giving Into Seeing” is likely the most accessible song on the album and would be a great introductory track for those unfamiliar with Cloud Nothings. The song really embodies the soul of the band as a whole and has a lot of energy, but who am I kidding? This entire album is amped up like kids that just slammed through a 12-pack of Mountain Dew. Its relentless energy and powerful hooks, combined with the fantastic mix of the record as a whole all coalesce to create an incredible indie rock record. If indie music is your thing, these guys will fit perfectly into your collection.