Cloud Nothings' New Album Spares Us 'Life Without Sound'

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Cloud Nothings' new album is titled <em>Life Without Sound</em>.

Cloud Nothings began when leader Dylan Baldi was a freshman in college back in 2009, and the Cleveland band's early recordings capture the bratty scrappiness of seemingly directionless kids. But every subsequent album — Life Without Sound is the fourth, not counting compilations, EPs, 7" singles and a full-length collaboration with Wavves — further refines Cloud Nothings' formula, in which careening punk gets polished to a soaring shine.

For a guy who once sang, "I need time to stop moving / I need time to stay useless," Baldi sure has found a way to infuse his songs with vitality and ambition. Throughout Life Without Sound, his songs stir up a stormy churn of guitars and abused drum heads, but this terrific nine-song set — especially "Things Are Right With You," "Modern Act" and "Up To The Surface" — also comes bearing weapons-grade hooks, each richer and more polished than the last.

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