Music Music of the Week

Review: Cloud Nothings x Wavves – No Life For Me

Words by: Jake Eckersley


Let me start with a disclaimer: Cloud Nothings are my favourite thing.

Listening to Dylan Baldi’s (Cloud Nothings mastermind) music transform from his skuzzy lo-fi, solo bedroom production in his first album “Turning On” to the hard hitting, band-written, classic punk in his most recent albums has seriously been one of the biggest highlights of my long time as an avid music listener – I love it.

Does that make me a terrible candidate to review this collaboration with Wavves, another band I have always enjoyed? I don’t think so. There is nobody more critical then a huge fan when a band they love releases new music.

So my emotions were mixed at the idea of this release and I was admittedly pretty nervous that this would be the album where Cloud Nothings died for me. Just like when Kings of Leon decided to stop writing songs about hookers, cocaine, making high pitched squeals and start maybe making some money, or when Blink-182 decided to stop singing about being in high school, things you love sometimes change and you don’t change with them. Alas, this is not the case with this album.

Ok here’s my verdict in short, feel free to stop reading here if you wish; it’s incredible – go listen.

That’s where my mum normally stops reading so thank you for sticking around for the rest, pal! Look, it’s like the two bands both ignored their own egos and went into rehearsals with nothing but appreciation for what they each do best. It’s instantly loveable – an album with the signature sounds of both bands just mashed into one ear pleasing, delectable album. The surfy guitar sounds and reverb-drenched harmonies of Wavves paired the fuzzy melodic guitar, pounding drums and soft, almost lazy vocals so typical of Cloud Nothings – oh man, gorgeous.

Just some fucking catchy, fuzzy, lo-fi and super melodic pop-punk. The single No Life For Me is just a perfect mission statement for what the album hopes to achieve. It starts with some distorted, churning Wavves’ guitar riffs and washed out vocals and flows into Baldi’s soft melodic guitar, soft, pounding drums and sweet, raspy vocals.

And it’s not just a snapshot of each of their current sounds. The two projects have re-explored their past influences making for tracks that are diverse and new yet strangely familiar. We hear moments of noise experimentation on the untitled tracks reminiscent of Cloud Nothings move into it’s band writing and some of the synthy, fuzzy bass used in some of the best moments of Wavves’ music.

The way the wiry clean guitar sounds in “come down”, what seemed to be the most popular track judging from online reviews, couples with the spacey guitar sounds (I’m guessing that was a Wavves influence) and the out of key bridge melodies work brilliantly. After listening to the whole thing about 5 times, which is very achievable when the 9-song album is only 20 minutes long, (I love punk reviews) I can’t in any way fault what they have achieved.

I’d give it a 10/10, but I don’t really want to start putting a number on how much I enjoy music so I will repeat myself, it’s incredible – go listen. Fuck, go buy it or just send them some money or a gift or something. The more cash these guys have the more likely we’ll hear more from them soon and after listening to this, just the thought of that makes me wee. Just a little.

Listen to the album here.