Monday, January 11, 2021

Cloud Nothings - The Black Hole Understands LP


Self Released (2020)

I didn't get a chance to do a proper review of this album before I ran out of time last year, but you may have noticed that the record did rank quite high on my list of the Absolute Best Records of 2020.  I figured that it would make sense to start the year off getting this one written about.

The Black Hole Understands is an album that the members of Cloud Nothings wrote and recorded under quarantine earlier in 2020.  In some ways it's a pretty dramatic departure from their last few records, but in others it's exactly the sort of thing you would expect from cloud nothings.

First off, the differences.  This record is in no way as loud and noisy as usual.  The distortion is dialed way back giving way to cleaner and at times jangly guitar sounds.  As far as the vocals go, there isn't much of the harsh howling that comes up from time to time.  These vocals are more restrained, almost delicate in the way they interact with the music.

But despite these sonic differences, the songs have the classic Cloud Nothings mastery of putting just the right hook in just the right place.  While they certainly have a weariness to them, they nevertheless have an unshakeable optimism.  Just like everyone else, the band is pushing along to get through these times, because surely they'll get better eventually, right?  

The one other comment I have is that when I ordered this record from the Cloud Nothings Bandcamp page, I had ordered the clear with black smoke colored vinyl variant.  When I got this in the mail, it was a straight black vinyl version.  I actually didn't notice this right away as I forgot there was a colored vinyl version and I've contacted the band/label through their Bandcamp page.  Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on the colored vinyl version.

Cloud Nothings - The Black Hole Understands:

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