But wait, there's more... For the first time in its eight year history, the Hopscotch Music Festival officially extended into Sunday, with an afternoon long program held at the Red Hat Amphitheatre. While Sundays have always brought some final day parties for those who still had the energy, this was the festival's first foray into a fourth day of programming.
In 2009, Cloud Nothings leader Dylan Baldi dropped out of college to pursue his rock n' roll dreams, and he did so with a vengeance. With their fourth album, Life Without Sound, Baldi and crew have polished their sound, without sacrificing any of the angst and ferocity that made the world fall in love with them in the first place.
We discuss, while Paul relives the 90's.
PLUS! We're setting the wayback machine for a trip back to 1972 and the new-to-us soul of Howard Tate!
SOUNDS LIKE: Dylan Baldi has gone from Tom DeLonge to Frank Black in one move
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Working with the legendary Steve Albini, this song earns the sentiment of #9!
It's been a big year for Dylan Baldi and his band Cloud Nothings. They moved away from the sunnier and poppier vibes that came off of their early singles and last year's self-titled LP, and traded it in for a sound that was bigger and bolder, becoming more brooding with every note emoted from their songs. These new songs came to life on the stage with his newly intact line up for his one-time solo project, before heading to Chicago to record at Electrical Audio, owned by the famous and infamous studio engineer Steve Albini. The result was the intense and abrasive Attack On Memory, a collection of songs the Pixies would've recorded back in 1987 if they were full of angst and had some serious issues about love and other emo things like that.
Gone is Dylan Baldi's snarky whine, one that Tom DeLonge from Blink-182 still finds suitable and can't grow out of, and Baldi has traded it in for a pair of pipes not far from Frank Black's former register. "No Sentiment" finds Baldi screaming every last syllable until he's out of breath, while guitars duel to merge sanity with insanity. The rhythm section holds it all together while the chaotic destruction takes place on a set of strings that has you thinking this could all fall out at any second. Albini's trademark setup of the mics is ever apparent, the drums sounding big and as bad ass as he can get them to when he's not playing Scrabble. "We don't care what we'll lose" Baldi sings before the feedback spins the band out of control, and it's true they don't care if their new sound would've lost them fans. Luckily songs like this have gained them more fans, and years from now people we'll look back to this song when needing a nostalgic fix.
If there is a mantra to be followed on Temporary Room, the debut album from Stagnant Pools, it is to maintain consistency. Not only is that statement a lyric from the song “Consistency”; it could also be the band’s mission statement, as it is the key to making this particular album work.
Stagnant Pools are a duo, the brothers Enas. At ages 21 and 22 respectively, Bryan and Doug excel at making the sound “gray” on the musical color palette. Room, recorded in just a day, is stacked with layers of guitars droning on for miles. And behind those bricks lay the mortar, a bombastic drumbeat that hammers that firmly molds the songs together. Like a concrete mixture, the songs in this Room are thick, sludgy, and even jarring at times with their monotonous tones. One may argue that since it was recorded all in a single session, maybe the songs kind of rub off on one another, playing together a bit homogeneously. One might also disagree: Sure, songs like “Solitude,” and the title track “Temporary Room” – full of guitar work that matches early Sonic Youth - meet at a point where you don’t know where one ends and the other begins… But it works. It’s all about consistency, remember? The songs bleed well together and, because of that, they blend well together.