The young crowd at Scala are clearly excited to hear songs from Cloud Nothings recent album ‘Here and Nowhere Else’ tonight. The fourth record has gone down well with music critics and fans alike, and has proved once again that they are more than just another angst-ridden band, and that their arrangements tell a story through their many tempo switches and noise levels. The crowd clap the two support bands – Primitive Parts and Pheromoans, with a jittery impatience, and are near to ecstatic when Cloud Nothings calmly walk on stage.
The Cleveland band opens this sold-out show with ‘Quieter Today’. The guitars and drums rage over Baldi’s vocals. Having the music switched up creates an exciting energy but it’s a shame that a voice impressive as Baldi’s goes unheard at times. ‘Psychic Trauma’ shows how Baldi’s voice can rapidly switch in tone, and his urgent screams succeed in raising the mosh-pit up another level.
Other than Baldi offering up a quick ‘thanks’ here and there, the band members hardly speak to the crowd in between songs; they are definitely more awkward than pretentious, and it’s clear that they want their music to do all the talking.
The grizzly bass introduction to ‘Patterns Walks’ sets up the ominous vocals perfectly. The noise builds up then collapses into itself producing a wall of blaring distortion. The transformative elements in the song pull at a range of emotions in the audience, underlining the depth in the band’s work.
The highlight of the show is the encore of ‘Wasted Days’ from their 2012 album ‘Attack on Memory’. Although a lot of their lyrics are indistinguishable, everyone manages to sing along to the chorus of ‘I thought I would be more than this’. The noisy mid-section goes on and on and on, under a storm of flashing lights and torrential drums, allowing the final chorus to come as a punch in the gut.