Cloud Nothings @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
September 16th, 2012
This Sunday show at the Amsterdam Bar provided some intense, visceral energy from the stellar lineup of bands (Cloud Nothings, Bloodnstuff, and Chomp), although somewhat unfit for such a mellow night in the near-empty streets of downtown St. Paul. Nevertheless, each band delivered a tight, walloping set of noisy, guitar-driven tunes that made the audience almost forget they had to wake up for work in the morning.
Chomp, a punk group featuring two members of Cloud Nothings, started off the night with a solid set list of pop-tinged punk rock, laying out a nice groundwork for the rest of the groups. However, Bloodnstuff, a local two-piece, truly kicked the night into high gear, banging out an intense 45-minute set of music off their self-titled LP. The group has been garnering loads of attention from the local music scene in the past year, and it was completely evident during their live show. Judging from the way they can weave through complex mixed-meter math rock and still deliver a fist-pumping hook, these two almost seem to be sharing the same brain. Hearing how full their tunes sound, it’s amazing that all of it is just coming from two guys.
But, the true champs of the night were Cloud Nothings, who delivered a short but powerful set of music. Starting with the song “Fall In”, they hammered through a pulverizing collection of tunes picked from their new Steve Albini-produced record Attack on Memory, an album that has garnered mass critical appeal for their new direction into visceral noise-rock. Grounded by a thumping rhythm section, they tore into each song with raw, razor-like energy, punctuated by distorted guitars and Dylan Baldi’s raw vocals. Many of the songs were heavy on noisy improvisation and tempo changes, which gave each song a spontaneous and fresh take from what is heard on the record. After performing an encore of older tunes, these guys wrapped up their first ever gig in Minnesota, but hopefully not their last. Judging from the crowd response, I think we will be seeing more from these guys
Written by Andy Engstrom, Radio K volunteer.