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.
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