Cloud Nothings have always been a band who have teetered between the push-and-pull of the loud and quiet, playing with pop melodies against more abrasive guitar instrumentation. Their last album ‘Life Without Sound’ was a record that was nestled into the softer, lo-fi ends of the spectrum, gearing away from the more amplified nature of ‘Here and Nowhere Else’. With ‘Last Building Burning’, however, they have returned to their visceral and louder roots but in a slightly different way. Mirroring the fast-paced caustic elements of their live show, ‘Last Building Burning’ is Cloud Nothings embracing a harsher component to their sound - almost recalling the likes of recent Oh Sees releases - which has grown into something unsettled, bold and reckless.
The more impetuous vibe to the record was something purposely done. “I wrote this because I felt there weren’t too many rock bands doing what we are right now,” frontman Dylan Baldi said of the record. “A lot of other bands sound great but it’s missing a heaviness I like.”
And such heaviness is achieved. The record opens with the high-octane thriller of ‘On An Edge’, with the softer power-pop of previous tracks foregone in favour of a three-minute punk exodus where Dylan screeches around an avalanche of screeching guitars. Cloud Nothings are famed for their sweaty and beer-spilling live shows, and the energy is definitely reflected throughout the rest of the record. ‘On An Edge’ is the most extreme example, with ensuing tracks such as ‘Leave Him Now’ and ‘Offer An End’ returning to the more pop-harnessed sounds but still coupled with heavier instrumentation and breathless, relentless drumming.
The highlight of the album is lead single ‘Echo of the World’, an ambitious offering of the chaos and havoc that so encapsulates the album as well as the and chiming guitars that hark back to Cloud Nothings’ past work. ‘Last Building Burning’ has opened the door for Cloud Nothings to be anything, and everything, that they want to be.