Cloud Nothings - Cloud Nothings 12 inch
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In the transition from basement to studio, one component has yet to come into full focus: Baldi's voice. The gap between those sounds coming from his hands and those from his mouth is noticeable. The opening five-song blast, as exhilarating an assemblage of tracks as he's ever strung together, provides a useful chart of his comfort level now that his voice is completely uncovered. Within the insanely hummable, sometimes gummy verses of opener "Understand At All", you can hear Baldi's voice originate just at his throat, where the screams of "Not Important" hail. And while the latter motions toward the skittering Midwestern pop-punk of the Promise Ring and recently reunited Get Up Kids as much as Buzzcocks, its final gasp echoes (as though in tribute) that of Wavves' Nathan Williams, another former lo-fi kid who's made impressive use of the studio. "Should Have" opts however for the suburbs instead of the beach and the unabashed melodicism of Gin Blossoms over Nirvana, Baldi's voice moving even lower. Once "Forget You All the Time" arrives, he sounds as strong and confident behind the mic as he does unspooling all those gorgeous strands of guitar.