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Cloud Nothings: Cloud Nothings

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Somebody needs to sit Dylan Baldi down and teach him the value of conserving his hooks. The Cleveland teenager slashes though catchy melodies like broken guitar-strings on his full-length debut as Cloud Nothings, as if mad dashes of melodicism grew on trees. Surely an older, thriftier songwriter would have tried to milk more out of “Heartbeat” than Baldi, who’s content to simply yelp the infectious chorus several times for barely more than a minute before abruptly changing the subject. Baldi has such an abundance of bright ideas that he sometimes crams two gooey power-pop songs into the same two minutes. “Not Important” begins as a pop-punk barnstormer in a classic Hüsker Dü/Superchunk mold, then shifts into a hopped-up dream-pop coda. Baldi is no less anxiously squirmy on the amphetamine-driven Merseybeat pop of “Nothing’s Wrong” and the hiccupping “You’re Not That Good At Anything,” which sound like the post-punk rantings of Jay Reatard’s bookish younger brother. Even at its most frenetic, Cloud Nothings never loses its grip on Baldi’s mile-a-minute songwriting. But when Baldi takes a deep breath and slows down on the absolutely perfect “Forget You All The Time,” he shows he can melt hearts nearly as well as he can make them explode.