Sometimes you have to do pretty crazy things to catch good music, which is why Anna and I hopped in the car last Thursday to drive about six or seven hours up to Albany to visit Marc and catch Cloud Nothings at Valentine’s, a pretty sweet local venue.
Openers Better Pills and Scientific Maps started the night each with their own unique brand music. Scientific Maps was a favorite of Anna and Marc and have music to download here. Scientific Maps also provided some of the best banter of the night with jokes like, “You’ve never been to Friendly’s? It’s like Denny’s, but more racist.”
But pretty soon it was time to hear Cloud Nothings and the new material Dylan Baldi had been crafting. The new debut self-titled full-length had been available to stream up on The FADER that day, so we all took a listen to it before heading over to the venue. We liked what we heard, but more on that tomorrow.
Cloud Nothings took the stage and said, “We’re Cloud Nothings from Cleveland, Ohio,” and the band launched into “Understand At All.” The only stoppages in energy were in between songs as the band moved at a frenetic pace, going through old and new songs alike.
Since the first time we saw Cloud Nothings live in June 2010 in Washington, D.C., the chemistry and overall tightness of the music has improved greatly, making it just one of the most solid shows I have ever seen. The new songs from the self-titled (“Understand At All,” “Should Have,” “Nothing’s Wrong,” “All The Time”) were solid additions and fit in well with the catalog of older tracks from Turning On (“Can’t Stay Awake,” “Hey Cool Kid,” “Turning On”).
The band also performed “Weird Son” from Leave You Forever, which the bassist, T.J., performed from behind the stage in the entrance to the bathroom, while also laying down “Didn’t You,” “Even If It Worked Out,” and “Morgan,” the last of which we were pleasantly surprised to see live. Jayson Gerycz’s drumming was absolutely insane, making me willing to say that he is one of the best live drummers I have seen in a long time.
While the new album is hi-fi and clean, it undergoes what I sometimes call “King of the Beach effect.” While Wavves’ 2010 album sounds clean and poppy on the album, the songs have more reverb and fuzz, making them sound like actual Wavves songs. The same happens with Cloud Nothings, albeit to a bit of a lesser degree. The live performance of these songs are so much better than I could have imagined, making them a must-see when they start touring through the area again later in March or April.
“Hey Cool Kid”