Steve Albini likes to think of himself as a “Hands-Off” type of producer, preferring the title engineer. Still, it’s difficult to listen to the Cloud Nothing’s “No Future/No Past,” the first track released from their second album due out this January, and not cite his work with bands like The Pixies, Mclusky, or even The Jesus Lizard as a direct influence on this track. To be clear, this is not the sweet ‘n’ innocent, lo-fi pop that first got Dylan Baldi and his band-mates noticed in Cleveland and across the states. No, this is noise rock in the soft/loud/soft style of the ’90s with an elastic bass line like one Kim Deal would have laid down on Surfer Rosa and a pointed howl that’s too Frank Black not to drop his name, too. Whether “No Future/No Past” is an indication of what we can expect once the album drops is anyone’s guess. And, that’s the point, isn’t it? Baldi, with a hand from Albini, has completely rewritten all expectations of his band.
- July 20, 2015
Political punk rock comes with a unique risk. What if all the causes you've been championing have been overtaken by more pressing issues by the time your album hits the streets? In our era, dominated by hot takes and social media firestorms, remaining topical is even more difficult. When you consider anarcho-punk forebearers, Crass were left to question their own strategy after Thatcher began and ended the Falkland's War in the early '80s while the band worked for more than a year on the double album, Christ - The Album, a modern band surely faces an even more daunting task, right? Who cares about Occupation Wall Street any more? In the past month gay marriage is the law of the land and the Confederate flag has (finally) become a poisonous symbol. A diplomatic, nuclear arms treaty with Iran has been agreed upon and a Cuban flag is flying outside of an embassy in Washington DC. The United States of 2015 is a far different place than the United States of 2012, when Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, and his long, dormant band, Desaparecidos reunited for a second round of incendiary arena-punk. Read More