Having originally been Dylan Baldi’s solo project which began in 2009, there was only so much he could achieve from his parents’ basement. For their second and third album, Baldi was given a band of a second guitarist Joe Boyer, bassist T J Duke, and the amazing drummer Jayson Gerycz. Baldi’s solo work ended with the third album, and the collaboration resulted in a change from the pop punk that had come before. Attack on Memory with its reverberating dystopian screams was a welcomed, impassioned change. The bands’ latest album Here and Nowhere Else follows this enthralling path. Although John Congleton took over as producer, and the band reduced to a trio, the crackling caustic punk reigns through, creating something reminiscent of a Dinosaur Jr whir. These uncontainable, mesmerising songs were made to be heard live.
Before they took the stage, the London based group Cheatahs had a bit to say. Although their set was brief, the energy was incredible. The mix of swirling riffs buried under crushing distortion and warm fuzz, such as that in 'Kenworth' echoed that of My Bloody Valentine but with a fun pop edge. Ripping off every 90s shoegaze band could be construed as a cheap trick, but the fact that Cheatahs do it so convincingly questions whether it is really a problem. It's brutally obvious what they're trying do, in fact it's shameless, yet it remains a rewarding experience to watch because they're unbelievably well rehearsed.
The room quickly filled out considerably more, and shortly after Cloud Nothings made an appearance. Immediately, without any introduction, they began ‘Quieter Today’, grabbing the crowds attention from the offset. With a combination of old and new favorites wholly fused together, it was unnoticeable that they had one less member. The greyscale abrasiveness of ‘Psychic Trauma’ and ‘No Thoughts’ were definite highlights, as well Jayson Gercyz’s drumming that drove the restlessness throughout, especially in the hard-hitting finale ‘I’m Not Part of Me’. After, T J Duke jumped back on stage to encourage the audience to shout louder for an encore, and admitting he looked a bit silly standing on stage by himself, Baldi and Gerycz joined him to play a turbulent rendition of the nine minute ‘Wasted Days’. Baldi embracing the role of lead and rhythm guitarist, his hand becoming a frantic blur. This is a far and unprecedented stretch from the basement EP that initiated Cloud Nothings.
Words: Mimi Birch Taylor & Evan Clements