Starting off in the basement of Dylan Baldis mothers house, Cloud Nothing has branched out into a full band and has come back with their fourth Studio Album Life Without Sound. Cloud Nothing is a punk rock band from Ohio, consisting of four members in total. Instead of continuing with their regular upbeat, energetic, and occasionally rough punk sound. This time, however. Cloud Nothing has changed their style to something a little more mellow and melancholic sounding. No more eight-minute-plus instrumentals consisting of rough guitar and pounding drum solos but instead smooth transitions, powerful vocals and lonesome piano intros. Even the albums name “Life Without Sound” and the names of the tracks seem very aesthetic and can easily grab the attention of someone whom may stumble across this album in a music store. The band has definitely settled down and are showing a more mature side of themselves while upholding the punk rock title and proving punk is still a genre that’s alive today.
The opening track “Up to the Surface” definitely grabs you with its piano instrumental setting a particular mood then followed by eight drums beats and the song begins. Although it doesn’t set a mood for the entire album, which varies between different styles of punk, this piano opening does let you know that this album will be fairly different from their other music. This track shows how much Cloud Nothing has musically developed over the years of their career and shows that they’re able to experiment with different styles of punk, or music in general. It’s a song that gives you early 2000 vibes and makes you feel very nostalgic as you listen to its sentimental lyrics. The lyrics to this song are very poetic and leaving almost a depressing effect on you. Lyrics such as “I came up to the surface, released the air with no words to remember what happened there.” seem as if their taken from a sonnet written in the late 1800’s. Poetic lyrics and a quality instrumental make a fantastic opening track!
“Up to the Surface” is not that only track that consists of poetic lyrics, but other tracks such as “Modern Act” despite it’s upbeat and energetic backing track, is very sentimental and beautiful. Lyrics such as “feels like the tide is only starting to come in” and “when you feel like an ocean coming out a creek” really gives you a wave of emotions and provides that mysterious vibe that goes along with the meaning of this track. The track “Enter Entirely” stands out to me the most with the guitarists’ breathtaking guitar solo, and its diary like lyrics. It’s almost as if Baldi is reflecting on his past and speaking about it through this track. Baldi was actually a high school drop out, who left school in order to pursue music. He started off as a solo act, using the fake image of a band on websites such as “MySpace” in order to gain attention. When his band “Cloud Nothing” began to receive attention, he formed an actual band for live performances; hence starting the rise of Cloud Nothing to what they are today. Lyrics like “I’ve had a lot of time alone, disintegrating, watching all the hours with a bottle of wine, what a life.” really give you an inside look of what his life must have been after Baldi left school in order to pursue an uncertain dream, and how hard things must have been on him. Although it’s evident that the lyrics apply directly to Baldi, they’re also very open and could easily be applied to anyone in any sad situation where someone may be experiencing loneliness. Baldi does this one purpose so that not only he can express his struggles but his listeners can relate to Cloud Nothings music as well.
The closing track “Realize My Eyes” starts off with simple strummed chords on an electric guitar and build up slowly adding in a steady drum beat. After listening to all these upbeat pop songs, this particular track really brings down the atmosphere with its intro, letting you know that the melancholic album is coming to an end. A big, dramatic ending. The song is a build up song, meaning it starts off slowly, then steadily it will get faster, more will be added to it and eventually at one point the song will explode. This is very similar to what Cloud Nothing did with the intro song “Up to the Surface”. It’s ironic how the beginning song and the closing song consists of the same intro technique, and is a very nice touch regarding placement of songs on the album. Baldi at the climax of the song, shows off his powerful vocals as he belts the lyrics “I believe in something bigger”. The song sends chills down your spine as these relatable words are presented so passionately by Baldi, accompanied by his band.
Although Life Without Sound is very different from Cloud Nothings style but they pull it off very well. You can tell by listening to each instrument that the members are very talented and have a good understanding of how to synchronize their music together and overlay each instrument to match each-other. It’s very evident in this album that each member plays an important part and they let each instrument shine through, never overshadowing one another. From just their music alone you can tell every member is comfortable with the other members sounds and because of this they’re able to produce such strong, amazing music.
If you’re interested in punk rock then definitely check this album out, it’ll be worth your time! As for returning Cloud Nothing fans, I hope your enjoying this album as much as I am!