Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
The Cloud Nothings have been offering reliably fizzy punkypop from for seven years now, and their albums Cloud Nothings (11 songs in 28 minutes!), Attack on Memory, Here and Nowhere else and new one Life Without Sound are all excellent. So after support from Irish musicblog-friendly solo troubadour Cian Nugent here they are at Hare and Hounds just down the road.
It’s Dylan Baldi’s band – situated stage left in long greasy hair, beard and hoodie. The rest of the band fan out – strong silent type bass player and new lead guitarist who has the rocking along to the music move really down. They have the melody/noise balance just right, and if they’ve a standout player it’s drummer Jayson Gerycz who gets a huge amount from a minimal kit. They’re as tight as you’d expect from a band five albums in and play a crisp hour-long set. No between-song banter and no encore, which I think is the right way to go for a gig this size. Just 15 or so songs taken at a pretty fast lick.
What do they sound like? Inevitably heavier and faster than on record, they sit in the middle of an imaginary triangle anchored by Husker Du, Geffen era Sonic Youth and early Teenage Fanclub. Standout tracks were Fall In, I’m not a Part of Me (a proper earworm) and epic closer Realize My Fate.
If I had a caveat, the backing vocals mics were too rarely used, leaving Baldi’s voice on ‘throaty scream’ setting the sole voice in the mix. On record the more tuneful vocals provide a great contrast with the buzzsaw guitars.
Plaid shirts from 18 to 68. A few 18 year olds were even moshing – bless.
It made me think..
I’m guessing they don’t make it over from Ohio to Kings Heath that often, so we’re grateful for the chance to hear a top-notch live act 10 mins from home.