One of the year’s fastest growing bands, the profile Cleveland’s Cloud Nothings have gained in the last six months is probably much bigger than anything their leader Dylan Baldi would have ever imagined when he was recording the band’s first record in his bedroom. They’ve spent the last six months touring relentlessly behind the band’s third album, Attack on Memory, and Baldi and company’s performances have gained a reputation for their intensity. Painfully raw, immediately vital, and blisteringly loud, this band, maybe more than any others this year, hits viscerally and emotionally hard. Attack on Memory was one of the year’s first contenders for Album of the Year, and it’s an even more visceral experience in a live setting that’s best experienced up close in the pit.
Opening Sunday afternoon’s KEXP live broadcast from Barboza for the Capitol Hill Block Party, Cloud Nothings blazed through a short set of surprises. Their opening number started out as a ’90s-style three-minute pop-punk song and then unexpectedly dissolved into an extended art-rock jam, before segueing into a straight-up post-punk instrumental.
Only about ten minutes into the set, they announced their last song, which again proved to be three minutes of pop-punk and another ten minutes of a long build-up of intense and increasingly fast guitar virtuosity, finally dropping back for a coda of the pop-punk. It put a big grin on my face.
Cloud Nothings are a young band with lots of talent and skill, and clearly plenty of room to go far. They will be rocking the Main Stage at 3:30.