Cloud Nothings – The Village Underground, London 07/11/12

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Photograph by Sara Amroussi-Gilissen, taken at Corsica Studios, August 2012.

Released back in January, a life-time in terms of musical trends, the vitality of Dylan Baldi’s third full length, Steve Albini engineered album as Cloud Nothings has not waned, nor has the humour of it’s contradictions. Youthful, tired, hopeful, jaded, invigorating and depressing, Attack on Memory is the agonised, bottled sound of pure futility. Obsessed with the past, it is, if nothing else, a furious charge into the scuzzy, plaid clad world of 90s grunge but it outright refuses to wear the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia. This, we suppose, is what helps it stare at the future with unblinking, un-romantic eyes and what assures the four-piece do much more tonight than just wallowing in the well trodden quagmire of revivalism.

Last time the Ohio quartet treated London to their frenzied, agressive guitar driven numbers they not only blew out Cargo’s PA system but their lights too, thankfully or perhaps regrettably the same doesn’t happen this evening. Kicking off the evening’s proceedings with the wonderfully shambolic howls of ‘No Sentiment’ it takes all of two seconds for The Village Underground’s swollen basement pit to circle one another before the inevitable chaos erupts and sweat begins to exude from every East London pore. Recalling their earlier output, the pop punk indebted hooks of ‘Fall In’ offer up a harmonious partnership between bittersweet melodies and relentless riffs. It sits perfectly alongside set highlight ‘Stay Useless’ in straddling mainstream rock tendencies with more passion and energy than those outlets could handle.

Saving the cyclic momentum of cathartic slow burner ‘No Future/No Past’ til the latter portion of tonight’s set, Baldi and co offer the audience’s flailing limbs a minor respite whilst giving their ever straining vocal chords a work out. Ending on a high note Cloud Nothings exercise 2010′s debut Turning On and 2011′s eponymous sophomore in closing numbers ‘Can’t Stay Awake’ and ‘Not Important ‘ – their pained vocals, vitriolic pop sensibilities and faultless percussion making everyone thankful that Baldi dropped out of college to pursue his dreams.

Setlist
No Sentiment
Fall In
Separation
Our Plans
(As Yet Untitled)
Cut You
Stay Useless
Wasted Days
No Future/No Past
Can’t Stay Awake
Not Important

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