Cloud Nothings – Turning On (Witchita) 25/10/10

November 28, 2010 by  

Cloud Nothings is the alias of Cleveland’s Dylan Baldi, who last year recorded an impressive assortment of tracks in his parents’ suburban basement which have made up this compilation record “Turning On”. The songs may have been recorded in a DIY manner, but Baldi shows throughout this record that he excels in writing memorable guitar hooks along with instantly catchy melodies – perfect for this style of noisy indie-pop.

Songs like the college radio blast of “Can’t Stay Awake” and the vibrant “My Little Raygun” wonderfully combine gripping verses with an attention-grabbing chorus full of brash vocals and brilliant scuzzy guitar riffs. The nostalgic Postcard lo-fi pop of “You Are Opening” stomps along with a post-punk jagged guitar line complete with Baldi’s overly saturated vocals which reflect “I don’t care why you’d want to like me”. The centrepiece of the album, “Water Turns Back”, is more laid back and allows Baldi’s loose style of guitar playing to carry the song’s melody really well; whereas “Old Street” is punchy and rumbles along with a simmering bass line towards a killer sing-along chorus.

As this compilation was recorded on what almost sounds like either a 4-Track Potrastudio or an onboard computer microphone, there are several moments throughout “Turning On” when you can barely make out some of the guitar lines or what the vocals are trying to say. All of the instruments were performed by Baldi himself, and although the songs are well structured and he is clearly a talented musician – some of them, particularly the more lively sounding ones, would improve with the use of additional musicians in order to create a more solid rock performance.

2010 has certainly been a great year for artists that have taken a similar DIY approach to making a record, but what is particularly impressive about Cloud Nothings is that Baldi was just 18 when he recorded this album – proving just how much potential he has in store to develop this sound for his debut LP, which this reviewer is very much looking forward to hearing.

[rating:3.5]


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