Cloud Nothings / Mr. Dream
Media Club, Vancouver BC March 7
The hairless chests and undeveloped talent of Cleveland's Cloud Nothings betrayed their youthfulness. The band began as the bedroom project of then-18-year-old Dylan Baldi, channelling his teenage angst into three-chord lo-fi pop punk songs. Three years and three records later, Baldi is one of four young men refusing to come to terms with their fading teenage angst. Career-wise, Baldi has progressed, but emotionally and lyrically, he doesn't want to, as he professed his desires to remain a shallow ineffectual on their usual set opener "Stay Useless."
Baldi's age was also clearly evident when you heard him sing. In more tuneful moments, he moans and whines shallowly, with no real sense of urgency or developed emotion. When he exerts himself, his voice garbles and, more embarrassingly, squeaks.
There is a hint of Kurt Cobain in Baldi's voice when he attempts to emote, but unlike the Nirvana frontman, there's little substance in Baldi's words. Where Cobain roughly fell in with the slacker movement of the early '90s, which was more about anti-materialism and a rejection of conservative family values than pure sloth, Baldi's lyrics tend to be about doing nothing with his life for no reason ("Wasted Days") while remaining ignorant ("No Sentiment"), which apparently resonates with a post-internet generation lazy enough to just tweet "Who the fuck is Arcade Fire?" instead of actually looking something up.
Luckily, Cloud Nothings played a lot of extended instrumental passages. Though the song structures are unsurprising and the typical alt-rock jangle sound monotonous, they showed decent chemistry when out from under Baldi's suffocating lyrical immaturity. But contrasted by the more mature confidence of Mr. Dream, all of whom graduated college some years ago, the lack of Cloud Nothings life experience was brought into clear relief. These kids need to take a year off, go to India, and get their hearts broken.
ReviewsJul 20, 2015
Hundred WatersBass Camp Stage, Pemberton BC, July 19
Falling right into the beautifully crafted "Out Alee," Hundred Waters graced the Bass Camp Stage on the last day of Pemberton (July 19). Cup...
ReviewsJul 17, 2015
Billy TalentMount Currie Stage, Pemberton BC, July 16
The crowd for Toronto-bred Billy Talent was raging well before the band even took the stage. Bets placed on "River Below" ricocheted off the...
ReviewsJul 12, 2015
Against Me! / frnkiero andthe cellabration / Annie Girl & The FlightGarrick Centre, Winnipeg MB, July 11
A good punk show is always fun and usually sweaty, and Against Me! delivered that and more to the Garrick Centre as they kicked off their We...
ReviewsJun 28, 2015
SightlinesThe Palomino, Calgary AB, June 27
Eric Axen writes perfect summer anthems. An obsession with Jawbreaker and Vancouver bands like Paper Lanterns inspired him to move on from t...
ReviewsJun 28, 2015
Pissed JeansDickens Pub, Calgary AB, June 27
There was no smoke machine onstage at Dickens Pub, but as the stage lights moved around, one could see a swarming mist of pungent, floating ...
ReviewsJun 27, 2015
The WPPThe Palomino, Calgary AB, June 26
There are nostalgia acts, and then there's the WPP. For many in western Canada, they were a pivotal band that felt like a best kept secret, ...
ReviewsJun 14, 2015
Teenage Bottlerocket / the Copyrights / LonewolfeWindsor Hotel, Winnipeg MB, June 13
After opening gigs for Pennywise and NOFX, Teenage Bottlerocket returned to Winnipeg for a headlining set. Thankfully the band can pull off ...
ReviewsMay 21, 2015
Superheaven / Diamond Youth / Rozwell Kid / IrisHard Luck Bar, Toronto ON, May 20
Shoegazing locals Iris set the bar for the night with a brief, powerful set that had the audience entranced from the start. Drawing influenc...