Whilst, at 8 tracks ‘Attack On Memory’ is relatively short it still manages to demonstrate that Cloud Nothings have a lot going for them.
At the gig they veered from melodic punk to something a little more expansive with extended instrumental work-outs.
It’s immediately clear that, whilst the record is undoubtedly cleaner sounding than the live show, their sense of purpose live survives intact to the record, whether on the lengthy ‘Wasted Days’ or the more concise but anthemic ‘Stay Useless’.
They are capable of mixing things up such as album opener ‘No Future/No Past’ which starts with a deceptive piano intro before building the menace slowly.
Importantly the record manages to builds the sense of momentum, so important to good rock records, throughout such as on instrumental ‘Separation’ and final track ‘Cut You’.
However it would only be fair to note that I have a couple of reservations about the record despite its many positive.
Firstly there’s far less of the adventurous instrumental passages on this record at least. Without knowledge of the band’s pervious output I’m not sure whether this is something that they’re leaving behind in favour of a more direct approach.
My main problem with the band live was that, too often the vocals were pitched midway between a punk sneer and a punk scream, creating the impression that the band veered occasionally towards sounding like cartoon punks. The vocals are still not my favourite thing about the record but really there’s only the one track, ‘Fall In’ which is too close to the likes of Green Day for my liking.
Of course following the course of action that this indie snob blog would prefer is likely only to take Cloud Nothings down a cul-de-sac. Because it’s obvious that coupling their strong sense of melody with a commercial approach could well take the band onto much greater success.