Tag Archives: attack on memory

Album Reviews: Cloud Nothings, Real Estate, St. Vincent

CoverCloud Nothings- Here and Nowhere Else

Release Date: 04/01/2014

Grade: A

The last time that we heard from this Cleveland based noise-rock band they gave us one of the best albums of 2012 in Attack on Memory. That album captured the attention of many critics because of it’s consistent energy from song to song while shifting between pop-punk and garage, and a lot of the followup after this release said that future sounds from the band were going to lean more towards the garage-rock sound since they felt that was more of a strength and natural noise for frontman Dylan Baldi to sing in. This is what makes the accessibility of Here and Nowhere Else a bit of a shock. You knew that the energy was going to be there, but the band has made a point of not sacrificing their hooks in the process along with a pleasantly surprising amount of vocals being present. It’s a Cloud Nothings album which you could mosh to, the probable preferred method if you were to ask the band, but it’s also a fun and energetic album which the listener can enjoy passively. I highly recommend giving Here and Nowhere Else a listen as this is the album which I’d call my favorite album of 2014 to this point.

Favorite tracks: “No Hear In”, “I’m Not Part of Me”

Atlas_12Gatefold

Real Estate- Atlas

Release Date: 03/04/2014

Grade: B+

Real Estate is one of the premiere easy listening bands that you can turn to today, but there were some reasons to be cautious about what approach the band would take with it’s third studio album. As the band becomes more established they will continue to find themselves in situations where they could understandably flirt with the idea of changing their style for a more vocalized approach, but there hasn’t been much of an indication that this is something which the band is looking for. On the surface that seems disappointing because nobody wants to hear a band release the same album under a different name, but Atlas is better described as being an album with the same sound in new ways.

Real Estate stuck to their strengths here by making a soft-pop album which makes the room feel like a suburban escape, and they try out some new approaches to the sub-genre in the process to show that the band is still further exploring the style which they fit into so naturally. “Talking Backwards” is a surprisingly upbeat and pretty tune to prepare you for the upcoming spring, while “Crime” has an interesting duality to it with progression existing alongside passivity. “How Might I Live” is the most unique track on the album featuring guest vocalist Dean Wareham and sounding similar to one of the softer tracks by Noah and the Whale.

Track Picks: “Talking Backwards”, “April’s Song”

St VIncent

St. Vincent- St. Vincent

Release Date: 02/24/2014

Grade: B-

Annie Clark’s released a difficult product to review for her self-titled fourth album, as it can be a frustrating experience where the music is focused more upon variation of noise sources rather than creativity in rhythm. The music could improve in that aspect substantially, but there’s also a lot of techniques here which St. Vincent does impressively which deserve to be praised. For starters, Annie Clark has a terrific sense how to sing pop with her pitch and phrasing fitting seamlessly into her tracks, and she deserves a large amount of credit for releasing an album which is very detailed in how it’s layered and well-produced (An important accomplishment since a wide array of instruments and a full background choir are added to the final product cleanly). Annie Clark is a very confident musician who’s had the incredible fortune of being able to work with talented artists such as David Byrne and Sufjan Stevens among others up to this point in her career and she has taken advantage of these circumstances to become a well articulated songwriter in the process. St. Vincent isn’t a showing of the genius which her music seems to hint she has the potential of reaching though, instead it’s another tease to place some terrific musical qualities into an album which is good but never great.

Track Picks: “Prince Johnny”, “Regret”

Song-A-Day: January 24

Today marks a big anniversary as it’s the anniversary of LCD Soundsystem’s debut self-titled album back in 2005, crazy how time passes by. The Song-A-Day is going to head to a different artist though as we have other opportunities to show our respect towards LCD Soundsystem, but not as many to recognize the Cleveland-Ohio based noise-rock group Cloud Nothings who released the stellar Attack on Memory two years ago today. That album ended up being one of the best releases of that year, but this year’s promised successor is supposedly going to change up the sound a bit with the band shifting closer to a grunge-rock type sound and farther away from an indie-rock sound. Out of anticipation for that move, our Song-A-Day today goes towards one of the more grunge-sounding songs on Attack on Memory with “Wasted Days”.

Oh I know
My life’s not gonna change
And I live
Through all these wasted days
Never thought
That I’d end up this way
And I know
It’s gonna stay the same

I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this

And I know
I’m losing all my time
Doesn’t seem
Like it was ever mine
Didn’t seem
My own I don’t know why
Getting tired
Of living ’till I die

I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this

I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this

I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this
I thought I would be more than this

Kyle’s Favorite 25 Albums of 2012

Hey there everyone, my name’s Kyle and I’m the Alternative Rock director over here at WCDB Albany. I’d like to preface this list by saying that I’m by no means a qualified music critic, I’m solely a college kid who loves music and has a lot of access to it. This being said I’ve been looking forward to making this list forever because comparing albums to each other is an amazingly fun process for me. Hope you enjoy, and feel free to high five me or question if I have ears in the comments below!
Continue reading Kyle’s Favorite 25 Albums of 2012

Album of the Month, February: Of Montreal- Paralytic Stalks

For January my favorite album was Paralytic Stalks by of Montreal, a band that’s actually from Georgia but is named after a girl lead singer Kevin Barnes used to be with that was “of Montreal”…  When I first tried to get into the band many of their earlier works frustrated me with annoyingly frank and simple concepts (Tim I wish you were born a girl immediately comes to mind), but this certainly isn’t the case with Paralytic Stalks.  Continue reading Album of the Month, February: Of Montreal- Paralytic Stalks

Album of the Month, January: Cloud Nothings- Attack on Memory

First off, congratulations to the New York Giants for winning another Super Bowl, you guys represented the lesser of two evils so I’m glad you won. That being said, let’s begin the process of me forgetting that game ever happened so I can live in a world where the Jets are still considered good (I miss last year).

Last semester I had a weekly column where I posted reviews for CDs I listened to at WCDB, but this semester I’m a lot busier and can’t quite make that commitment again. I do want to continue being a contributor to the blog though, and because of this I decided my new segment will be choosing my favorite album of each month. Not that large of a commitment but still a way for me to talk about my favorite music I’m hearing at WCDB. In the future they’ll be up much closer to the end of the previous month too, at least in theory! Continue reading Album of the Month, January: Cloud Nothings- Attack on Memory