No Life For Me is the new album that sees a collaboration between Nathan Williams of Wavves and Cloud Nothings main-man Dylan Baldi. The music is influenced by the SoCal punk scene of the early ‘80s adding Williams’ summery splash with elements of Baldi’s lugubrious sentiment. It was recorded in Williams' house and produced by Sweet Valley.
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- No Life For Me by Wavves / Cloud Nothings
7/10 Robin Staff review, 20 August 2015
Surf and gloom and fuzz, oh my. If ever there was the perfect grumpy indie rock boy collaboration, it’s this. Usually Wavves offers a slightly more upbeat flip of the coin to Dylan Baldi’s nostalgia-destroying emo pop, but ‘No Life For Me’ sees them ruminate in self-absorption together. Recorded with a short attention spans and a (lack of) discipline at Nathan Williams’ house, this record wrings out its emotions quick, hammers them home over wavering levels of distortion and keeps the melodies tight and to the point as ‘Here And Nowhere Else’.
Proper opener “Now It’s Gonna Go” sees Baldi head up the songwriting, with the song charging up in the vein of “Now Here In” before turning into a feedback-addled jam that recalls the meandering post-hardcore of “Wasted Days” or “Pattern Walks”. Williams takes the helm on “Come Down”, laying down a calmer vocal over a discordant chord sequence and riffs that trace the melodies floating by in his voice. It’s a nice, serviceable bit of emo tinged indie rock that, as is the tradition for these bands, takes a mantra and makes sure the fans will remember it -- as if breaking it into building blocks, he pauses and sighs through endlessly repeated cries of “Sometimes, you’ll find, nothing ever comes down”.
‘No Life For Me’ works best if you approach it as a ramshackle collection of tunes, intuitively played by masters of the fuzz domain; these songs aren’t particularly profound, and often border on self-parody (especially Baldi sing-screaming “gotta get away!” under a muck of distortion on “Hard To Find”). Both bands would have you believe otherwise, tethering together these songs with patchwork ambient (like the surprisingly synthy “Untitled II”), but this sounds more like a warm up session for their next release cycles than anything substantive.
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