The whole time I listened to Cloud Nothings, I screamed in my head: “they’re NOT Blink-182, they’re NOT Blink-182.” And Cloud Nothings are not, in fact, Blink-182. But no matter how hard I focused on the stellar song writing or garage fuzz, I couldn’t help coming back to the comparison. Every time I closed my eyes, the Enema of the State album art filled my head (that interminably long line of tattooed perverts haunts me to this day). But, as I reiterated time and time again, Cloud Nothings are NOT Blink-182.
In fact, the band started out as a man. A man named Dylan Baldi, an 18-year-old Ohio resident, to be exact. After a few home-recorded EPs and singles, Baldi formed a full band and recorded his eponymous debut album. Baldi’s home recordings were rough because, well, they were home recordings. After teaming up with a record label and pro producer, the Cloud Nothings sound is much more refined but surprisingly (and happily) still pretty rough. Baldi and company have recorded 11 short tracks that hook and hold you hostage for days. If a band’s biggest fear is advancing past the buzz to make a well-respected full-length album, Cloud Nothings should have nothing to fear. But that Blink-182 thing still bugs me.
It’s not an insult really. Baldi is part of a generation that grew up on pop-punk bands like Blink and Green Day, so to see the influence so strongly isn’t much of a surprise. The songs on Cloud Nothings are short, energetic, simple and catchy. The whole album is actually relentless in it’s energy; you hardly have time to take a breath from one chorus to the next. Yet on songs like “Nothing’s Wrong,” “Rock” and “Been Through” the structures are actually uncannily similar to Blink. Just, you know, without the diarrhea lyrics.
But like I said a thousand times here and to myself: Cloud Nothings are NOT Blink-182. Although there is clearly some (perhaps unintentional) influence, Baldi is a much better song writer. Lyrically pretty mature for his age, he accompanies more intricate song writing to create these short, catchy pop-punk gems. On the surface you might think raving teenage crowds would be the target audience for Cloud Nothings, but beneath the hooks and energy lies a talented song writer that teems with potential. Just, you know, without the diarrhea lyrics.
Buy Cloud Nothings now on Carpark.