Cloud Nothings at Lee’s Palace, Toronto (CMW 2012) – Concert review and photos

March 24, 2012
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Cloud Nothings at Lee's Palace - photo by Nathan Blagdon, Music ViceCloud Nothings – the new, new, new face of grunge?

The Gig: Cloud Nothings
Where: Lee’s Palace, Toronto, Canada
When: 23 March 2012
In One Word: New-vana?

Cloud Nothings are a band that I should NOT like. The Cleveland, OH band have been labelled garage-punk and I’ve never been a huge punk fan. They’ve also been described as neo-grunge; but grunge is a word that I’ve been using apprehensively for years. Pearl Jam, in fact, is my all-time favourite band (don’t make fun) but they led to cheese-ball imitators like Creed and ultimately to the pride of all Canadians, Nick…Nick…Nickleback. (I just threw up in my mouth a little).

Cloud Nothings do not try to imitate Pearl Jam though. They’re more of a Nirvana grunge. But I’ve never enjoyed Nirvana all that much, viewing them as less talented but admittedly more authentic grunge compared to PJ. So why do I find myself interrupting parties by commandeering a friend’s iPod to add Cloud Nothings’ sophomore LP Attack on Memory?

Most of the songs on the album are pretty good; “Stay Useless” is a great song. But it’s the tracks “No Future, No Past”, and “Wasted Days” that get me so worked up that this chilled-out, pacifist hipster wants to punch a tablet in the face.

Woh Nathan calm down. What’s come over you? You’re into lazy, beachy music with soft soothing vocals; not the abrasive screams of Cloud Nothings’ frontman Dylan Baldi.

Baldi remarked in a recent PitchforkTV interview, “I don’t like a lot of electronic stuff. Especially [not a lot of] chill wave stuff or whatever. That’s not my thing.”

I dig the chill wave though. Especially when I’m just hanging out, probably sitting in front of a computer, maybe editing photos. But when I’m partying on a Friday night, I like music that rocks. So it’s great that “electronic stuff” is not Baldi’s “thing”, because he’s revitalized the ass-kicking grunge sounds of Nirvana that I’ve never rocked to before. I sure am now.

© Nathan Blagdon, Music Vice

Photos of Cloud Nothings at Lee’s Palace:

Internet links:
Cloud Nothings
Nathan Blagdon

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