Monday, February 6, 2012

Cloud Nothings- Attack On Memory

Could it be said that an album can be great for the producer's body of work but not spectacular for the band? This thought had never occurred to me until listening to the new Cloud Nothings record, Attack On Memory. Steve Albini is a notorious, equally hated and loved producer, generally in indie rock and its similar genres. I haven't heard something he produced in awhile that really struck me as great work for him, as if he was killing time and saving up money to fund the next Shellac record.

But I think Attack On Memory works as well as it does because of his production style. He makes what would otherwise be a mediocre post-hardcore indie rock album into something at times akin to Bedhead, and at other times a parallel-future version of Slint that went on to record after Spiderland. The production is so key to my enjoyment of the album that it reminds me a lot of similar otherwise-mediocre albums elevated by their production, Walk It Off by Tapes N' Tapes and Some Loud Thunder by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

As for Attack On Memory itself, I think it only occasionally rises above the level of especially good workmanlike takes on post-hardcore indie rock (the dynamics, man, the dynamics!). Kind of like Slint sometimes, kind of like Polvo. Kind of not as good as either, with vocals that sometimes sound like screamo bullshit, and other times like Blink 182 style "punk" rock.

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