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Remember the term “emo?” It used to make me cringe. Thoughts of tattooed boys telling me their woes in verse-chorus-verse of dull sensibilities and loud bursts of emotion fill my head.

Well, my darlings, it is back. It probably never left, but the pretty hipster boys with skinny jeans and George Costanza outfits have been in my way. You know what I mean. But, here comes the third album from the Cleveland-based Cloud Nothings, and the emo influences are stacked. High. And I kinda love it.

I was hesitant to proceed after opening track “No Future/No Past” and its desperate vocals, harsh guitar, and deadpan drums, but I had hope. Then I heard “Stay Useless‚” and it got to me. It was punk, brash, charming. There was a tinge of whine to Dylan Baldi’s voice, but I didn’t care.

Attack on Memory is short enough to forget — under 34 minutes — but you’ll want to revisit the simplicity of youthful angst. It is a good throwback to something that I once overlooked. Who knows how many emo bands I tossed to the side because they didn’t look/sound like the Strokes. Maybe I should give emo a second chance. Maybe.

  • Album: Attack on Memory
  • Artist: Cloud Nothings
  • Label: Carpark Records
  • Songs: (1) No Future/No Past (2) Wasted Days (3) Fall In (4) Stay Useless (5) Separation (6) No Sentiment (7) Our Plans (8) Cut You
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