Cloud Nothings Return: Release Single "Modern Act" and Announce Album "Life Without Sound"
Cloud Nothings Are Back!!!!
To anyone who reads this blog regularly, you know that I think that three bands are really important to the future and direction of punk, rock, and garage right now.
Cloud Nothings, Japandroids, and No Age
Last week, Cloud nothings released a picture last week of their four albums to date with an open frame for a fourth, promising an announcement on 10/12. Well, the announcement has come, and it is glorious news.
On the heels of Japandroids touring and hinting at a new album, Cloud Nothings (after about a 2.5-year absence) played 4 new songs at a show last night and released the following single (called "Modern Act") today.
It sounds to me a bit like a more pop/punk take on their previous two albums. That might be unfair, the focus is certainly more on the vocals and the sound is cleaner. There is less of the classic Dylan Baldi anger (or at least it is less immediately apparent). The rumor is that the rest of the album has an early Weezer feel to it. It still sounds very much like a Cloud Nothings song.
Brooklyn Vegan had the track list:
1. Up To The Surface
2. Things Are Right With You
3. Internal World
4. Darkened Rings
5. Enter Entirely
6. Modern Act
7. Sight Unseen
8. Strange Year
9. Realize My Fate
BV also released some short Instagram clips from the show last night.
Cloud Nothings also are going on tour (Not to Detroit - sadness - but, thankfully to Cleveland and Chicago which are close enough for me to go see).
You can check out the tour list on Pitchfork Media.
Why Are Cloud Nothings and "Life Without Sound" so important?
Look, there a TON of us who love rock, punk rock, post-punk, etc.
But, In the popular imagination, the bands that 'move the needle' are bands we mostly hate (Foo Fighters - sorry Dave - and truly awful bands like Maroon 5 and One Republic etc.). They are what the younger rock world knows as ROCK.
There are a few bands we "like" but not wholeheartedly (Green Day comes to mind). Not entirely Green Day's fault, they have been carrying the punk banner in the popular consciousness almost alone since they were kids
There are a ton of bands that we love but that nobody else knows much about (look at my playlists to see literally 1,000's of examples).
There are, however, a few bands that we LOVE who have shown hints that they might be able to move the needle.
Japandroids and Cloud Nothings, for example, are rock bands that have been able to sell albums, garner critical attention, and command media attention all while NOT sucking.
This is another opportunity for a really good band to give widespread voice to music that doesn't play to the lowest-common-denominator. This is an opportunity to return, at least for a few minutes, to those halcyon days when I actually occasionally heard Melvins on commercial radio (okay that won't happen - sigh).
In other words, they play non-pandering songs (sometimes live even), that they wrote without the help of a "hit" algorithm, and that don't feel like the rough edges and soul have been smoothed forcefully out of them by some producer drone.
You know how it used to be when you could hear bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Throwing Muses, Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, Bikini Kill, and The Replacements on regular radio and when you could hear even more interesting bands on college radio.
Now, Cloud Nothings are on a record label that represents a ton of artists that I love (Wichita Recordings) but that seems to have forgotten its roots.
But, hopefully, they can help get this album to matter and in fairness, "Modern Act" was trending on Twitter this morning.
Anyway, the first time I noticed Cloud Nothings was after hearing the single "Morgan" from the 2010 album "Turning On"
But, for me, the real announcement that this was a band that mattered was the 2012 album Attack on Memory (which is one of my favorite albums of all-time - not hyperbole).
Most recently, they released the 2014 album Here and Nowhere Else. Also a great album, not "as" good IMHO but pretty damn good.
There was also a sneaky good collaborative release in 2015 with the band Wavves of the album "No Life For Me" that had some really good tracks on it.
Anyway, the resurgence of Cloud Nothings and Japandroids could not have come at a better time. The new album is due to be released January 27, 2017. I, for one, cannot wait!
Are you excited for the new "Cloud Nothings" album?
Where are you going to see them?
Let me know what you think, leave a comment!