Great news! Cloud Nothings have made their loudest record to date! It's also one of their fastest. The Cleveland OH band have drafted in Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth etc.) to help replicate their intense and powerful live sound on this thirty-minute one-sitting-listen slab of racket churn.
Vinyl LP £18.99 WEBB550LP
LP on Wichita in mirri-board sleeve!.
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CD £4.99 WEBB550CD
CD on Wichita.
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The next few weeks are going to be a nightmare for my ears. You see we have lost our regular churn expert Robin and so lost about 4346778965 words per week on releases like this from Really Noisy Bands I don't understand. Cloud Nothings proudly describe this as their loudest record yes and yes it's bloody noisy. Guitars are set to 5776 and the production is made of razorblades. It's skull fracturing but also tuneful ...which is nice. Opener 'On An Edge' certainly blew away any cobwebs I had this morning. The fact that at 3.15 it goes on about 2 minutes too long says more about it's racket than the general level of enjoyment it provides.
But on 'Leave Him Now' Cloud Nothings prove that they really are something like 2018's answer to the Grant Hart side of Husker Du. It's fast, catchy and has a nice little chorus. Frontman Dylan Baldi has a strangely strangulated voice here as if he's got something caught in his throat. Perhaps because, unlike 85% of the rest of the album he's not screaming is having a strange affect on his voice. The band mix standard post hardcore rackets like 'In A Shame' with more subtle efforts like 'Offer An End' where the calmness and melodiousness works in their favour. Remember, the Lemonheads were once a hardcore band and Cloud Nothings show that they, too might be content to just write songs for people to enjoy.
But for the moment they are making as much noise as possible and, yes, it's generally pretty enjoyable. Everything is short sharp shock except for 'Dissolution' which goes on for an unprecedented ten minutes but generally they marry their noise with a plaintive tunefulness nicely.
9/10 Greg H 2nd May 2019
Having suffered the unfortunate timing of previous album, ‘Life Without Sound’, a collection of songs about how upbeat and chipper frontman and chief songwriter Dylan Baldi was feeling at the time of its writing, being released a week after the inauguration of Donald Trump as US President, Cloud Nothings consciously adopt a darker, angrier tone on their fifth album, ‘Last Building Burning’. Opening track ‘On an Edge’ begins proceedings as the band mean to go on, sounding to the casual listener like they’ve started the album halfway through the song. The pace never lets up for the next three-and-a-quarter minutes, with Baldi screaming about having “wasted time” over a cascade of treble-heavy guitars.
‘Leave Him Now’ is more upbeat and poppy, but this belies the fact that its lyrics seem to concern someone being implored to leave their abusive partner. ‘In Shame’ continues the opener’s treble guitar sound. ‘Offer an End’ is as catchy and infectious as anything on ‘Life Without Sound’, whilst being considerably faster and shoutier. ‘The Echo of the World’ builds to a climax by having both Baldi’s screams and the lead and rhythm guitars get progressively louder. The epic breakdown-and-then-ferocious-build-up that kicks in around two-and-three-quarter minutes into ‘Dissolution’ stretches the song to the 11-minute mark, making it the band’s longest studio track yet.
‘So Right So Clean’ is mellower, but still maintains the album’s moody tone, partly through the use of reverb effects on the rhythm guitar and backing vocals during the song’s final bars. ‘Another Way of Life’ concludes proceedings in catchy but defiant style. Ultimately, ‘Last Building Burning’ sees Cloud Nothings get their noisy, angry mojo back and avoids the tone-deafness into which the resoundingly positive ‘Life Without Sound’ sometimes strayed (having Wolves in the Throne Room and Sunn O))) producer Randall Dunn no doubt helped in this respect). Undoubtedly my favourite album of 2018, and probably my favourite Cloud Nothings album yet.
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