Timing is everything for a band or musician that wants to see their record chart high on the end of year lists. Release your album too late and you’ll have missed the party altogether, too early and you run the risk of being forgotten when decision time comes. So it is no mean feat that Attack on Memory, released waaay back in January, has charted so high on our list.
Attack on Memory came as a slap in the face to those who heard Cloud Nothings’ self-titled debut record released last year. This is a far edgier and darker beast, with lead single “No Future, No Past” bearing all the hallmarks of legendary producer Steve Albini. In places it even sounds a little bit like Slint, but it is the pop-punk heroics that were laid out on the debut that still form the backbone of this record, especially on instant classics like “Stay Useless”. Main man Dan Baldi tackles some personal issues resulting in a marked lyrical improvement.
This was possibly the first great record of 2012, a record that saw Cloud Nothings shrug off ‘difficult second album syndrome’ with nonchalance to deliver an album of visceral energy and passion that has catapulted them from guitar band also-rans to rock band favourites in one leap.