They hail from Cleveland, the birthplace of rock and roll.
However, the story of Cloud Nothings doesn’t start with a bang. Rather, it began in a basement.
Through their blend of aggression and hooks, leader Dylan Baldi started the formidable group as a one-man recording project. His ear for melody and noise has never been in question.
With the release of their latest album, Life Without Sound, Lee’s Palace sets the stage for the evening’s sold-out engagement.
To those unfamiliar, tradition runs deep at the longstanding Toronto venue. It’s where Nirvana played their notorious first Canadian show. It’s also where bands come to make a statement.
Now a quartet, having added a second guitar, Baladi refrains from interacting with the night’s rambunctious fans. Instead, he’s redirected his energy into packing a sonic wallop, interlocking fully with drummer Jason Gerycz and bass player TJ Duke.
Unleashing the track “Pyschic Trauma” to the sweating mosh-pit below, things really start to ignite. The band begins playing harder, where misread sloppiness makes way for a driving, pounding live experience.
Never to be confused as a technically skilled band, there’s far more prowess to these men than meets the eye.
On both “Attack on Memory” and “Here and Nowhere” Baladi buoys his vocals with the band’s melodic playing, colliding perfectly. Call it a sign of hard-core going soft, Cloud Nothings embrace their step forward, albeit, with snarl still intact.
From their basement origins, this Cleveland quartet have made their way out the door, and yes, into a new light.
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Review and Photos by Myles Herod | @mylesherod