By Dewy D’Amore, Contributor
Key Tracks: “On An Edge” “Leave Him Now” “Dissolution”
Cleveland’s most well-known garage pop-punk band, Cloud Nothings, took an unexpected turn with their latest release, Last Building Burning. As seen in their previous releases, the band was starting to develop a more clean, catchy tone, but Last Building Burning screams with immense levels of anger and frustration while still remaining tamed by pop song structures – an unforeseen move from a successful pop-punk band. Some might even say it was beneficial for Cloud Nothings, as the release of a lo-fi, high-energy album will prove to their fanbase that they aren’t entirely “selling out.”
Read more: Album Review: Cloud Nothings – Life Without Sound
“On An Edge” kicks the album off with a heavy burst of distorted guitars and thrashing drums, followed by frontman Dylan Baldi’s screams. This track is shocking upon first listen due to its high energy. Baldi’s voice sounds noticeably more aged and matured; it’s almost unrecognizable. When performed live, this song will surely guarantee the emergence of a mosh pit.
“Leave Him Now” serves as a deep breath of fresh air, for it fundamentally shares a multitude of similarities from Cloud Nothings’ earlier work. The song has a general theme of helping someone realize that their partner is mistreating them. “He’ll leave you broken, afraid of what you’ve got / He’ll be around you when you are all he’s got. / You’ve got to leave, leave, leave / Leave him now.” It is currently the second most popular song on the album in terms of Spotify plays for a good reason: it’s a catchy song with a chaotic undertone.
“Dissolution” is the most complex track that the album has to offer with a runtime of almost 11 minutes. After a semi-catchy couple of verses, the song breaks down into a mix of guitar feedback and an intentionally sloppy drum solo to create a shoegazey, post-punk atmosphere. Then the song slowly builds while progressively getting more loud and intense to eventually deliver the answer to what the verses, in the beginning, had started to question.
Altogether, Cloud Nothings have developed a more matured and demanding sound with Last Building Burning. It seems as if the group has been testing the waters and seeing how many different subgenres of punk they could dabble with. It is relieving to hear a relatively successful band still not lose their desire to experiment.