On Cloud Nothings’ much-heralded Attack on Memory, Dylan Baldi started facing the reality of post-adolescence in the face and he decided to fight them tooth and nail. Now, after taking a year off (presumably to stay useless), he’s back with a new album and trying to move his life forward. The first song released from the album, “I’m Not a Part of Me” is Baldi’s argument with himself. Trying to resolve his old slacker self with his newfound sense of resolve, he spends half the song declaring to his old self, “I’m not you”, to which he responds “you’re a part of me.” Although it’s clear that his desire to start taking life seriously is winning out, it’s a clearly a bitter struggle.
Fortunately, despite whatever maturity Baldi is grasping for, the band itself is as snarlingly catchy as it ever, managing to sound even grittier than it did with Steve Albini behind the boards. As both the lead single and closing track on Here and Nowhere Else, “I’m Not a Part of Me” seems to be announcing that while Baldi’s ready to look beyond teenage apathy, that doesn’t mean his turning his back on the grungy, melodic punk that brung ‘em this far. With the new record out April 1st via Mom + Pop/Carpark, look for Cloud Nothings fans to be shouting themselves hoarse on this chorus at concerts and festivals throughout 2014.
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// Notes from the Road
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