The band — brainchild of frontman Dylan Baldi — made its first blip in late 2010 and has come on strong in 2011 with its proper debut and a simple enough style: Take recent tourmate Wavves, swap the weed for Red Bull, bathe it in Fun Dip, and you’ve got a close approximation.
The self-titled effort comes off as fuzzy, sunny, distorted, colorful and wholesome — basically, punk music for Care Bears. That’s what makes it extraordinary, though, and the jittery but crisp collection of 11 tracks is a special treat.
The sugary-sweet, one-two punch of “Understand At All” and “Not Important” (bolstered by a late song breakdown) spill out from the top before sort of settling down with the impeccable leadoff single, “Should Have,” and the comparatively trudging “Forget You All The Time.”
Of course, that calm immediately implodes into the albums speediest tracks, “Nothing’s Wrong,” the 1:10-minute “Heartbeat” and blazing “Rock.” The entire effort feels like a case study in attention deficit disorder; it clocks in at less than half an hour. That feels only appropriate, however, seeing that Baldi is but a mere 19 years old. With that in mind, it’s amazing what he was able to accomplish with so little experience.
“Should Have” is pop-punk bliss, and the schizoid “Been Through” is a delight, sneaking in at the space of the album usually reserved for filler. The closer, the relatively mature “All The Time,” makes sure things end on a high note.
Some will find Baldi’s voice as annoying, and others won’t care for the spastic nature of the disc, but Cloud Nothings feels like the only punk band present capable of crafting another “Dookie” within the next two years. With boundless youth, passion and energy at its disposal, Cloud Nothings seems poised to only get better, that is, in hopes that it doesn’t wear with age. —Joshua Boydston