“I’m Not Part of Me” begins audaciously, with the lo-fi, punk-influenced sound of distorted guitars providing a glance into Cloud Nothings’ garage fuzz world. But any semblance of other punk stylings disappears after the first few seconds and quickly transitions into a bland, done-to-death mix of pop and alternative rock, a formula that the track sticks to for the next four minutes and twenty seconds. While “I’m Not Part of Me” is energetic and upbeat, using its wide appeal to advertise the upcoming “Here and Nowhere Else,” it refrains from experimenting and showing a range of musical talent. Cloud Nothings sound disquietingly similar to bands like Weezer and Jimmy Eat World circa the late 1990s and early 2000s—we’ve heard this sort of thing already, and instead of bringing something new to the table, the song sticks to the same tune and shows little capacity for growth. It’s easy to see Cloud Nothings as a follow-up to these bands nearly 10 years later, keeping to the garage-band aesthetic that has made this genre so successful. Hopefully, the album is not more of the same and instead returns to the grungier sound that the band utilized so successfully on 2012’s “Attack on Memory.” But considering the state of their single, it’s hard to see them doing anything more or less than what’s been done already.
“Here and Nowhere Else” is out on April 1 via Carpark and Mom + Pop in the United States.
—Staff writer Bryan S. Erickson can be reached at email@example.com.