After a three year hiatus, Cloud Nothings have returned with their fourth studio album, Life Without Sound. Throughout the course of their albums, the band has continuously changed their sound. While they’ve stayed within the punk genre, their releases have steadily become heavier. Though their first album, Cloud Nothings, is a pop-punk masterpiece, their third album, Here and Nowhere Else, often explodes into aggressive bursts of noise. Life Without Sound fluctuates between a Here and Nowhere Else-esque sound, and a new, subdued sound. Although the band hasn’t shed their genre, they’ve managed to create moments of calm throughout this diverse album.
Unfortunately, this album lacks the type of songs that I’ve come to expect from Cloud Nothings. On all of their previous releases, the band has managed to create at least one transcendent song. Here and Nowhere Else contains the masterpiece “I’m Not Part of Me,” Attack on Memory has “Stay Useless,” and Cloud Nothings has (amongst many other gems) “All the Time.” These songs are, in my opinion, the golden standard for pop-punk music. Dylan Baldi, the band’s singer, delivers pop hooks without the whiny vocals that pop-punk has become known for. While Life Without Sound comes close with “Modern Act,” it doesn’t hit the mark.
Though I would recommend listening to Life Without Sound, it will probably be forgotten by the end of this year. I would suggest listening to any other Cloud Nothings album before Life Without Sound. If you’re interested in hearing what this album has to offer, my personal favorite songs are: “Up to the Surface” and “Modern Act.”
By Robert George, Assistant Music Director