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#ThrowbackThursday – Mineral

With the report via Pitchfork that Mineral is reuniting for shows for first time in 17 years. We would like to pay homage to a staple in my life. This would be their first album “The Power of Failing”

Brings back memories of college.  Me and a surfer friend from the shores of NJ hitting bongs and blasting this album in a desolate blacklit room up in Boston.  The album was my soundtrack to many roadtrips back and forth from New Jersey to Boston.    If you haven’t heard the album, we suggest you check it out.

Emo at its best.  Looking forward to the shows at Bowery Ballroom.  Hope to see you there.

All the Best,

BOTC

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Cloud Nothings-Here and Nowhere Else-Album Review

Cloud-Nothings-Here-and-Nowhere

We here at BOTC are a bit torn on the new Cloud Nothings album Here and Nowhere Else.  Some of us believe it’s the same old low fi “punk” that blast through our stereo’s on a consistent basis, and a step down from 2012’s Attack on Memory.  That opinion is definitely the minority across the industry.  Furthermore most of us completely disagree, including myself.  Let me explain.

The reason why this album is so good is because its simple, stripped down, rock and roll.  Guitar crashing paired with simplified mature lyrics, all laced with complete emotion.   This is lead singer’s Dylan Baldi’s most raw effort.  At its earliest, slight reminiscence of Nirvana. As of late, some say reminiscence of Japandroids .  The latter, is a completely lazy comparison, as the two are different bands.  Only similarities between the two are the balls to the wall, leave it all out there, rock and roll.  Technically, lyrically, and emotionally the two couldn’t be any more different.  Nirvana comparisons can easily be pinpointed to a tempestuous lead singer.

Let’s put it simple. This is a 32 minute rock and roll album, with staggering guitar riffs and catchy choruses   Emotionally it’s a journey through Baldi’s frame of mind, of which, we all can relate to. “I can feel your pain, and I feel alright about it” Baldi sings in the first track “Now Hear In”. Feeling is mutual buddy!

Similar to Attack on Memory (produced by Steve Albini) the low fi is tuned way down here and it presents a pure, fun, and live rock experience.  In comes producer John Congleton whose resume is quite extensive including Modest Mouse, The Walkmen, and most recently Swans. We imagine Baldi wanted to keep the “live” experience here and you can feel it.  Listening to the album, you imagine yourself front and center.

Let’s not forget about the scattered breakdowns throughout the album. Kudos to Jayson Gerycz on drums.  The lead and rhythm riffs float harmoniously together partially because, at times, it’s Baldi working both at once, similar to Patrick Stickles of Titus Andronicus (and yes Brian King of ‘droids).  Listen to the back of “No Thoughts” and tell me that doesn’t fire you up. Furthermore, at about the 24-minute mark, “Pattern Walks” blows the speakers off.  The albums most dark and ominous track leads off the finale with Baldi singing “Thought that I could change“.  The band then displays arguably it’s most “pop” sound on the record, before finishing the record with “I’m Not Part of Me” the albums “pop” song.  Pretty genius

“Here and Nowhere Else” isn’t a statement album.  It’s an album that divulges to listeners Cloud Nothings is a band that’s fully arrived and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. “I’m Not Part of Me” reiterates it best “I’m learning how to be here and nowhere else, focus on what I can do myself”. That’s good enough for me

At the show, some of my colleagues will be where we usually are…. in the back.

The rest of us?  We will see you in the pit.

—The Back of the Crowd