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Cloud Nothings – Attack on Memory (Review)

Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2.5 out of 5

HAVING been impressed with Cloud Nothings’ lead single Stay Useless it’s sad to report that I was underwhelmed by the ensuing album, Attack on Memory.

Comprised of eight sprawling tracks, it’s a case of excessive self-indulgence getting in the way of potentially great song-writing.

By their own admission, the Ohio-based outfit have opted for an even more experimental approach to this one, as well as a more varied one. Although claims they have made it more accessible by doing so are only partially true. Tracks like the radio-friendly, Strokes-esque Stay Useless are more the exception to the general rule.

And that general rule is to draw tracks out to sometimes interminable lengths, fill them with noisy and over-extended instrumentals and a distinct lack of focus.

The result takes in post-punk and indie elements before turning them into sheer, unadulterated slabs of noise. Wasted Days, for instance, starts off punchy and accessible before droning on and on and on… and becoming a complete mess of a track by the time it reaches the nine minute mark.

The same shambolic approach is evident on album opener No Future/No Past, which never really comes alive in the way that the album’s perkier moments do.

Fortunately, there are songs that will get them noticed by virtue of being easy picks for singles. Fall In, for example, hits you with some vibrant punk-rock riffs, another Strokes-like vibe and a catchy chorus in its breathless repetition of “fall in, fall in, fall in…”.

Likewise, Stay Useless with its tale of dejection tempered by pop-lite riffs… the self-confessed ‘pop jam’ track on the LP that’s genuinely catchy.

But just when you think things are warming up and getting ‘accessible’, Cloud Nothings hit you with the growling No Sentiment, which sounds like the bastard offspring of Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins minus the ear for melody.

Rather, it overwhelms with its volatility during the verse sections, before almost winning you over with a catchy chorus, and then returning back to the former.

Hence, while there may only be eight tracks to navigate, and some bright moments among them, Attack on Memory is often too difficult a journey to really enjoy and could have benefited from a greater sense of restraint.

It doesn’t live at all long in the memory, either.

Download picks: Fall In, Stay Useless, Our Plans

Track listing:

  1. No Future/No Past
  2. Wasted Days
  3. Fall In
  4. Stay Useless
  5. Separation
  6. No Sentiment
  7. Our Plans
  8. Cut You