Cloud Nothings' 'Final Summer' Is Confidently Familiar

BY Alex HudsonPublished Apr 22, 2024


Cloud Nothings aren't quite famous enough to be a proper "legacy band," a term normally associated with nostalgia acts offering older fans a chance to relive their youth. Rather, they are a working band — the kind of reliable group who release an album and then go on tour, and then do it all again a couple years later, likely reaching all the same fans they did the last time. They tend to treat it like a job, in that respectable way of guys who have found their vocation and are willing to put in the work.

This commitment to the craft is reflected in their eighth album, Final Summer. "I need to be happy / With what I've got for me," bandleader Dylan Baldi sings on the spiky title track. "I never run for anyone else / It's just a thing I do for myself" goes the college rock jogging anthem "Running Through the Campus." This is comfortable, familiar music, its confidently contented sentiments reflected in arrangements that channel Cloud Nothings' usual grungy pop-punk but without the breakneck intensity or pained snarls of some of their most ferocious past work.

For the first minute of Final Summer, it seems like this might be a big departure from the group. The title track, which was released as a single last year, here has an extended intro of synth ambience, giving way to a fiery rager that adds squawking sax to the band's usual punk palate.

But after that opening fake-out, Final Summer sounds pretty much like what longtime fans will expect from the combo. It might have been nice to hear more of the adventurousness heard on the title track. But even if Final Summer probably won't cause a big enough stir to get an anniversary reissue a decade from now, like 2012's Attack on Memory recently did, it's yet another solid rock record from a reliable group who are very good at this sort of thing.

(Pure Noise Records)

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