Dylan Baldi wants to Make Rock N’ Roll Great Again. Nearly a decade into his career and five albums deep (seven if you count 2011’s lengthy EP and 2015’s collaboration with Wavves), his band Cloud Nothings are ready to get back to basics, disappointed in the lack of heaviness apparent in today's guitar music. Who better to bring the fire back?
Just eight tracks long, ‘Last Building Burning’ is furious and focused, audibly indebted to the intricate, high-end guitar twiddling usually reserved for 80s hair metallers. For the first few listens, it’s almost impenetrably dense, but suddenly, come round three or four, it’s poppier sensibilities unfurl, ‘Offer And End” and ‘The Echo Of The World’ in particular hit the sonic sweet spot between all of their previous efforts.
The refrain of “They won’t remember my name/ I’ll be along in my shame” of ‘In Shame’ turns millennial self-doubt into a rallying cry, following a similar structure to staples ’No Future/No Past’ and ‘Modern Act’. Baldi may have claimed in previous years that he doesn’t linger too long when constructing lyrics, but there is no denying that he presents stories that are strangely comforting in their briskness, accepting his neuroses over growing up with a matter-of-factness that sometimes wallows but often challenges. By closer ‘Another Way Of Life’, he’s ready to fight; inching forward with steady momentum, you’re left feeling certain that he is getting out of this building alive. Album six is going to be one hell of a record.