12 February, 2017 in Music Reviews
After a three-year absence, Dylan Baldi’s band of sonic wizards return with their most refined and melodic offering yet
After the success of both Attack On Memory and Here And Nowhere Else you couldn’t blame Dylan Baldi and co. for adopting a similar approach again. But Life Without Sound is no repeat, instead it’s quite a substantial change of pace for the Cleveland noise makers. The addition of a fourth member, guitarist Chris Brown, seems to have helped them smooth off some of their wilder edges and find a mature middle ground.
Their blistering assault has been restrained in order to reveal the fuzzy melodies of Weezer. A more dramatic new direction is teased on Up To The Surface’s plaintive piano introduction, before the chugging guitars join in and bridge the gap. The stomping rhythm of Internal World is a catchy grunge number reminiscent of The Vines in their early days. The record also gives Baldi’s vocal the opportunity to shine through and on both Enter Entirely and Modern Act he reveals himself to be a versatile and emotive frontman.
Even though their sound has been controlled a little, the album isn’t entirely without it and when Cloud Nothings let go it’s still a visceral blow. Darkened Rings channels the energy of Jerry Lee Lewis through a wall of amplifiers and the epic closer, Realize My Fate shows they’ve lost none of their ability to let loose. Largely though, this is Cloud Nothings most refined offering yet, and the start of an exciting new chapter.
Verdict: Melody to match the mayhem