Cloud Nothings is an indie rock band from Cleveland, Ohio. Headed by frontman Dylan Baldi, the band has released two albums up to this point; their third album Attack on Memory is their most critically acclaimed album to date. The title is a very literal statement, as it’s “an attack on the memory of what people thought the band was,” according to Baldi. While he sounds a little pretentious, the description is accurate. Attack on Memory sounds nothing like the punk Cloud Nothings of old. Rather, its dark, raging lyrics give it a much more aggressive sound.
“No Future/No past” is the first song on the album, and it sets the tone immediately. Although the rhythm is upbeat, Baldi only sings a total of 11 words in the five-minute song. Towards the end of the song, Baldi doesn’t sing much; he mostly yells his throat raw. The monotonous beginning changes into something much more chaotic, from droning to violent rage. The next song, “Wasted Days,” is easily the biggest statement of the album. At nine minutes long, it starts as a catchy, tune but with lyrics that are filled with regret. But the tone changes as the song becomes more trippy and directionless. “Stay Useless” is an outburst of selfish emotion combined with in your face refrains. “Cut You” is a sociopathic rant of abuse sung in subdued tones with occasional borderline manic pitches.
Attack on Memory is such an edgy, raw sound that it becomes hard to doubt the sincerity of the emotion that it releases. With drastic and sudden changes in melody and feverishly antagonized lyrics, the album is a hard one to listen to for very long. But it’s very easy to appreciate the very real pain that emotes blended with brash melodies that resonate within.