Last Night: Cloud Nothings At Fitzgerald's
Cloud Nothings, A Classic Education, The Boxing Lesson
Photos by April Brem Patrick Cloud Nothings
February 23, 2012
It's only February and 2012 is shaping up to be a big year for Cleveland's Cloud Nothings. Their new album Attack on Memory is garnering raves from critics and fans alike, having been the first release of the year to earn Pitchfork's Best New Music nod.
And Thursday night at Fitzgerald's, it was definitely in the air that to see Cloud Nothings was to be part of something.
I was accompanied by a bandmate who had only heard "Wasted Days" on Sirius/XM at work, and I did my best to hype them up. But before seeing them live (having unfortunately missed them when they were in Houston previously), I may as well have been talking about a different band.
Abandoned, it seems, is the lighthearted indie-punk of their previous releases, Cloud Nothings unleashed the heaviest of jams from Memory for the majority of the set. While songs like "Stay Useless" and "Fall In" push Dylan Baldi's handiwork with hooks to the front with strong results, the intensity of "No Future/No Past," "No Sentiment" and especially the extended "Wasted Days" make for a breathtaking live experience.
It recalled the intimate late-'90s emo house shows where boys, barely men, put it all out there in a paradoxically introverted way, drawing in the crowd like a black hole of sincerity and authenticity.
It's undeniable that Cloud Nothings stand to be akin to Jawbreaker for those too young the first time around. The entire experience was fresh and alive and relentlessly nostalgic all at once. While approaching the assaultive noise of Nirvana on the verge of breaking but avoiding the grunge trappings other '90s revivalists might mistakenly implement, they're not quite rediscovering fire, but they are certainly finding new uses for it.
They started off the set with their more upbeat numbers, and transitioned into the hard and heavy second act with "Cut You." It's a track from their new album that ultimately balances the two sides of this band's sound. They displayed a restrained enthusiasm more apparent to your neurons than your eyes and ended abruptly after "OK, one more song," ripping the patch cables from their dozen or so pedals, then vanished leaving us totally hanging, bro.