Cloud Nothings have climbed their way up the ladders of rock over the years with their emotional blend of noisy riffs and melodic messages. Their sound has come to a beautiful culmination of emotion and power in their fourth album Life Without Sound.
The album is brought in dramatically with the piano buildup of 'Up To The Surface.' The piano and guitar combo builds peacefully as drums take the song into its melodic verses, the song's uplifting, driven, and confident sound bursting forward strongly. The same power is channeled in 'Things Are Right With You,' a rockier track that's just bustling in energy from every end of the song.
A lot of this album feels more mature than previous albums. There's less of a punk and angst vibe on this record - everything's more refined and reasonably channeled. Off-caliber guitar riffs are absent for the most part, and there's also a more of a tighter mix with a refined sound. There's still that punk influence, but it's all just more refined. Listening to a safer track like 'Internal Worlds' reveals the maturer sound very well - there's still a very loose play style here, but it's just a lot more appropriately mixed to sound fresher and fuller.
Cloud Nothings still maintain their core principles in Life Without Sound. 'Enter Entirely' is one of the most depressed sounding songs on the record - Dylan Baldi's vocals are perfectly longing and tinged with anger throughout it, and the instrumental reflects that of a very torn mind. The calmer, tense verses leading into big, bustling choruses gives the track a lot of dimension. The dark and brooding theme continues a lot on the record. 'Strange Year' is full of dark sounds and is the darkest, angriest song on the record, the off-kilter aspect returning with giant, tortured choruses backing it. The final song 'Realize My Faith' revolves around a dark build before exploding into one final burst of energy to send the album off.
Life Without Sound is emotive and fresh, and a breath of realization into Cloud Nothings. The band never sounded more confident or sure of themselves here. They've adopted a new, more refined sound that steers away from their angstier past and instead offers up a more refined mix and a slew of powerful songs. It's as angry as ever, but still proves to be a record that holds Cloud Nothings' principles true.
Favorite Tracks: Realize My Fate, Enter Entirely, Up To The Surface
Least Favorite Track: Darkened Rings
Rating: 76 / 100
Buy or listen to Life Without Sound here: