Cloud Nothings Bring The Heat in Hamden

Picture a 1980’s suburban ranch home.  Powder blue aluminum siding with white shudders and a shit brown AMC Eagle parked in the driveway.  You pull up in your Mom’s silver Buick Regal with Disney World “rainbow” sticker on the back windshield and an acrylic crystal hung from the rearview with fishing line.  Your tape deck boasts the finest mix, which you just finished ripping from your older brother’s vinyl collection and a few cuts recorded from the radio with the shitty built in mic on your boombox.  As you stomp the brake and cut the ignition the chintzy crystal sways back and fourth throwing colorful spectrums all about the velour headliner, which 5 years from then you will accidently burn a hole in with a Marlboro Red and then blame on your delinquent “bad egg” of a friend.  You walk up the concrete steps, flanked by yew bushes (you know those green pine-needled bushes with red berries), and throw the screen door open and head to the basement.  You can hear the muffled sound of drums, bass, guitar, and some unintelligible singing.  The ceiling is low, low enough to place the palm of your hand on it, and the space smells of a mixture of hockey equipment, wet dog, and feet.  What better place to gather and check out a raw and super talented three-piece punk inspired indie rock band from Cleveland, Ohio?

Sure it was April 12th 2014, and not 1984, but it might as well have been.  The Space in Hamden, CT had all the nostalgic appeal of what I described above but without the stench of my friends basement.  Otherwise, it might as well have been the same place only slightly larger.  The capacity crowd filled in quickly and with it came the heat and humidity.  Cloud Nothings: Dylan Baldi (guitar/vocals), Jayson Gerycz (drums), and TJ Duke (bass/vocals) took the stage to resounding applause and whistles. Ripping into several new tracks off of their latest album Here And Nowhere Else on D.C. label Carpark Records, the show was starting to pick up momentum when Baldi broke a string on his only guitar. The crowd hung in there while they waited a few minutes while a string was located and the guitar was restrung and picked up right where they left off.  Soon the pit had formed and The Space turned into The Jungle.  It was so hot and humid that my camera lenses and glasses were perpetually fogged up (hence some of the soft focus photos). The crowd fed off of the faced paced licks and lyrics during Quieter Today, Psychic Trauma, Giving Into Seeing, and Pattern Walks.  They were also treated to a distortion driven version of No Future/No Past off of their break out record sophomore record Attack On Memory.

Although the set felt somewhat short in length, it certainly made up in energy and effort.  Each member looked absolutely spent after the 40+ minute set, especially drummer Jayson Gerycz.  If you’ve not had the pleasure of watching Jayson, he’s one of the finest young drummers in the indie scene today and a blast to watch.  Finally, all-ages shows are fantastic for one reason in particular; the kids keep me feeling youthful if even for only those few minutes I have to balance photographing the band and my own self-preservation at the periphery of the pit.  I always leave with a smile on my face despite the bruises on my shins and ringing in my ears, kind of like my buddy’s basement.

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