In a press release for new album Life Without Sound Cloud Nothings’ frontman, Dylan Baldi, summarized his present status and recent recording experience thusly: “Generally, it seems like my work has been about finding my place in the world. But there was a point in which I realized that you can be missing something important in your life, a part you didn’t realize you were missing until it’s there — hence the title. This record is like my version of new age music. It’s supposed to be inspiring.”
Lead single “Modern Act,” produced by John Goodmanson (of Sleater-Kinney, Death Cab for Cutie and Los Campesinos! esteem), is supercharged by such inspiration. It’s the sort-of-thing meant to listen to on a moderately crisp, ashen-gray fall day when you’re feeling sunk. When, as Baldi astutely puts it, “you’re out and around, And all you ever see, Are people looking away.” There’s a recognition of being alive, though dulled by the cognizance of being “alone.” And such tension is played to a hilt in the backing. Jayson Gerycz’s drumming (still some of the best in punk rock) tussles with Baldi’s more-crystalline-than-usual guitarwork. At the end of the rallying number there’s no grand unification, just individuals and elements communally alone. But damn it, that’s a start.