5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
One of 2012's greatest albums so far (strong!! four),
This review is from: Attack On Memory (Audio CD)
When Interpol made a veritable masterpiece by basically copying late 70's post punk with their 2002 opus Turn On The Bright Lights, hitherto dogmas about originality being fundamentally paramount for the creation of great art went flying out the window. Since then many bands have taken a similarly derivative approach to music making, in the hope that they might recreate the same alchemy evinced on that seminal record. Although some bands have produced noteworthy albums in this vain, nobodies really gotten close to achieving that quasi miracle again (including Interpol) until now that is. Cloud Nothings third album Attack On Memory is the album in question and although it does narrowly fall short, it's gotten closr then almost anybodyelse i can think of in the last ten years.
The Cleveland, Ohio band have chosen mid 90's emo/late 80's Post hardcore for their inspirtaion with Attack On Memory and they do it so well here you'd be forgiven for thinking they were one of the original pioneers of this sound, opposed to some shameless twenty something plagarists. If Interpol bought a touch of alt rock and some really dynamicly emotive musicianship to produce their magnum opus, Cloud Nothings have done much the same thing here (using pop opposed to alt rock i should add). No Future/No Past is the intensely foreboding opener to AOM and it's climax is so explosively corporeal you might just smash whatever happens to be near you into a million pieces when it's over. "Wasted Days" carries the same energy brought by the NFNP and builds a 9 minute behemoth out of it, something like Rites of spring meets Sonic youth. Listen to it from the 8.05 mark and if you didn't crack on the first track's angsty histrionics you definitely will here.
"Fall in" is the moment where the Sunny Day Real Estate comparisons will come flying in and if it didn't kick some serious Arse you might actually care about it's obvious debt. "Stay Uesless" is next and it's probably the most beautifully angry pop song to be released this year (sorry Japandroids). The rest of the album slightly goes downhill from this point, even though each song pretty much successfully follows the same hellacious formula of bludgeoning drum rolls, frenzied guitar chords and powerfully screeched vocals, they somehow don't quite feel as life affirmingly transcedent. I do need to highlight the potency of "No Sentiment" though, which is as staunchly passionate as any of the best songs on here and the lyrical prowess of Dylan Baldi reaches it's absolute peak by using less than 40 words to convey his razor sharp albeit slightly hypocritical diatribe.
You won't be suprised to find Steve Albini's name right next to the producer's credit on AOM, as this album has his no nonsense fingerprints all over it "Seperation" almost sounds like a homage to his legendary math rock band Shellac. But even if the the band have benefited from albini's tried and tested recording chops, this album still remains a triumph for Cloud Nothings as they brought the frenetic energy and great songwriting to the table here and the only thing the band should perhaps feel a little plaintive about is that they weren't quite able to produce the classic the first half or even two thirds of this album says they could have (Interpol were seriously running scared for a minute there).