Album: Last Building Burning
Artist: Cloud Nothings
Label: Carpark Records
Non-Airable Tracks: None
This album is an incredible piece of post-hardcore, a shining example of indie rock in 2018, and simply great. Cloud Nothings really hit it out of the park with this one, producing an eight track LP that ranges from some no-nonsense punk to metal to Cloud Nothings’s signature piece: The emo thrash with pretty pop melodies. Cloud Nothings find themselves able to work these songs in throughout Last Building Burning while taking a harder and heavier approach than last year’s Life Without Sound
Dylan Baldi, lead singer and guitarist, has such a knack for working out chanting mantras, each song giving way to a hard cutting revelation of Baldi’s from his urging to leave an abusive spouse (“Leave Him Now”), to his triumphant-in-defeat screaming of “They won’t remember my name/I’ll be alone in my shame” (“In Shame”). Baldi really knows how to crank out these melodies, as awful and depressing as they usually sound. Almost every song on here hits hard and fast from “On An Edge”, the opener, with it’s heavy metal growls and breakneck drumming, to a personal favorite of mine “Echo of the World” whose progression crescendos in Baldi’s desperate screaming and drummer Jayson Gerycz’s frantic pounding.
Gerycz is one of the strongest components of Cloud Nothings right now, his drums providing the fast and hard backbone necessary to keep the album moving. The most dissonant and surprising part of the album is on “Dissolution”, where after about 2 minutes and 45 seconds of a particularly angry Cloud Nothings song, everything cuts out except for the feedback on Baldi’s guitar left to drone low and long. Gerycz enters back in again with some inspired and great prog drumming for 4 minutes before building back to a steady grove as soon as the guitars return from their hiatus.
“Dissolution” is the clear centerpiece of the album, and so worth listening to but Last Building Burning is hardly over after it finishes. Enter “So Right So Clean” my favorite track on this LP, a slower yet no less angry song where I swear to god I thought it was some Clash song come on by accident the first time I listened to this album. It’s slow and moody and the guitars stick at a steady tempo as Baldi lets loose with Joe Strummer’s tone yet so much more vengeful.
Last Building Burning is one of my favorite records of the year, and I’d check it out if you’re interested in this kind of music and you need something to listen to if you need your hurt feelings to be validated. Sometimes that’s what it takes to get by. No one will understand you better than Baldi, who’s made a career so far of that. “Oh it takes time/takes time to heal” he yells as the album closes, sounding more open and less frustrated than he has for the entire time.
Sounds Like: Fugazi, early Descendants
7-So Right So Clean
5- The Echo of the World
Reviewer’s Name: Bennett Tolar
Date of Review: 10/24/2018