Here and Nowhere Else leaves listeners stranded

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Zane Nyhus

On Sunday, April 1, the indie-rock band Cloud Nothings released their fourth album entitled Here and Nowhere Else.

After breaking into the music scene in 2009 with their first album, Turning On, Cloud Nothings have been quite prolific, producing three albums since (including their newest) which featured singles such as “Stay Useless” and “Hey Cool Kid.”

The teen angst-ridden style that Cloud Nothings have perfected has transformed them into a quickly rising name in the music industry.

Their newest album features a lot of the same fast-paced, in-your-face style of rock that fans are used to, but does so in a more subtle way than in previous albums. This makes it much more palatable.

The same day that they released Here and Nowhere Else, Cloud Nothings released their single off the album, called “I’m Not Part of Me.”  This track largely embodies what this album is about.

Lead singer/lyricist Dylan Baldi has said before that he “was never a punk growing up, just a musical loner who didn’t really like anyone.” This attitude is felt in “I’m Not Part of Me,” as Baldi writes “You’re not what I really needed / You could just leave me on my own.” The introverted lyrics that accompany the garage band sound are somewhat reminiscent of early Offspring from the 90’s.

Here and Nowhere Else starts out with a song called “Now Hear In,” and it is as angst-filled as any Cloud Nothings song.  The brusque line “I can feel your pain / And I feel alright about it” feels like it was torn from the journal of a teenage boy, but it works.

The rapid-fire drum fills emphasize the overall mood of the song.  The gradual building of “Psychic Trauma” takes the listener on a wild ride, while the repeating line “I thought” in pattern walks brings the listener down to earth.

The generally simple chord progressions make it easy for guitarists to play most of the songs on this album, though the same cannot be said for the drum beats, which are intricate and well done.

All in all, Here and Nowhere Else is a strong rock album that showcases an up-and-coming band.  An album that would be appropriate for a pain-inducing workout or a Wayne’s World style head banging session, Cloud Nothings newest release is only 32 minutes, but will be sure to leave you out of breath by the end of it.

My only criticism of the album is the lack of variety within it.  While I don’t like using the term “one-trick pony,” Cloud Nothings didn’t make much of an effort to experiment with new concepts.  Every song on the album is energized and frenetic, which is likely a sign of a young and developing band still trying to hone the edge of their musical sword.