Cloud Nothings’ “Life Without Sound”

The frontrunner for alternative rock in 2017

Artwork by Stevie Lacher

Artwork by Stevie Lacher

Cloud Nothings have gone from a one-man band to a full four-person group, and with the release of their fourth studio album, “Life Without Sound,” their sound is at its most polished.

Lead singer Dylan Baldi’s sound is clean and crisp, but he can also produce heavy growls, like on the album closer “Realize My Fate.” Baldi’s performance is at its A-game as he creates catchy vocal melodies on songs like “Internal World” and “Modern Act.”

The drumming in the tracks is fast-paced and powerful. It is the most evident during the opening of “Up to the Surface,” where the drums build to a manic ending.

“Life Without Sound” has themes of introspection and emptiness, and given the name of the record itself, these themes make sense and ring strongly among listeners. The song “Darkened Rings” shows Baldi choosing not to live his life by following lines, while “Enter Entirely” explores him trying to find purpose in his life.

The album ends on a bit of a dour note with “Realize My Fate,” where Baldi struggles to find answers in his life, as the song repeats the lyrics “I find it hard to realize my fate,” a statement of unknowing complacency and nihilism.

Some of the songs on the album can be rather repetitive, like “Internal World” and “Darkened Rings,” but this repetition helps to emphasize the most compelling lyrics of the songs.

Introspective and catchy, “Life Without Sound” proves to be a short but potent and powerful indie rock album to open up 2017.