There is a specific variety of raw, heart-on-your-sleeve aggression that can only emerge from the youthful mind of a gutsy songwriter with something to prove. With Attack on Memory, the third full-length from Cleveland-based Cloud Nothings, 20-year-old frontman Dylan Baldi approaches new, drastically darker material with the same empty-bottle angst that made his previous releases so appealing. While many recent '90s revivalists have borrowed from the jangly bliss of shoegaze and noise-pop, this Steve Albini produced record resurrects a grim and grungy style that sounds more like Fugazi than Sonic Youth. With its relentless onslaught of heavy guitars, caustic drumming, chaotic arrangements, and strained vocals, it marks a radical shift from the hook-heavy lo-fi of Baldi's past efforts. Surprisingly expansive for only eight tracks, the album moves between scuzzy pop and ardent post-hardcore. Standout "Wasted Days" is a nine-minute epic that starts off as an uncomplicated punk jam featuring Baldi's desperate howls, eventually unraveling into a sprawling psych-pop thrasher complete with noisy shredding and weirdo sound effects. Attack on Memory is simultaneously abrasive and sentimental; it's a self-deprecating soundtrack for a new generation of adolescent loneliness.
CLOUD NOTHINGS + CLASSIC EDUCATION + DIRTY DISHES | Brighton Music Hall, 158 Brighton Ave, Allston | March 25 @ 8 pm | $10 | 18+ | 617.779.0140 or brightonmusichall.com