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Courtesy Melissa Gibbons
, the tiny bar that calls itself a venue, was already half full when I arrived for the Cloud Nothings
show this past Wednesday, Februrary 29. Cloud Nothings are doing a full US tour in support of their new album, Attack on Memory, out on Carpark Records. By the time Cloud Nothings took the stage, Soda Bar was legitimately packed. The reason for the strong Wednesday turnout can probably be traced back to the “Best New Music” label the album got from indie gatekeeper website Pitchfork
Local band Lanterns started off the night with a really polished set of gauzey, upbeat songs that had a fair amount of melodic intricacy. Italian band A Classic Education has been the tour support for a chunk of the Cloud Nothings tour, and played the middle set of the night. The five-piece played a darker, more brooding set of songs, which had a noticeable garage influence. In late 2011, A Classic Education released their first full-length, Call It Blazing, on Lefse Records.
Cloud Nothings, a Cleveland band comprised of four guys that looked so young that at thirty, I felt really old, played a set that lived up to the critical praise for the recent album. They threw themselves wholeheartedly into attacking most of the songs on the album – it was intense, it was visceral, and it reminded me a lot of emotive 90s post-punk bands, but with more catchy melodies. And it was really fun to watch. Cloud Nothings ended the set with the first track (and the first single) from Attack on Memory, “No Future/No Past.”
On the album the track starts with the melody being quietly tapped out on a piano, the live version of the song was turned on its head when the band created a crescendo of loud distorted noise before launching into the quieter first verse of the song. The effect was mesmerizing. I doubt Cloud Nothings will be playing such a small venue next time they come through San Diego