To Those Who Say Pop Punk is Dead...

Maybe it was the unoriginal mess of synth and reverb that preceded these guys when I saw them last month, but Cloud Nothings' performance was a stark reminder of how much I love bands that do everything live. Two guitars, bass, drumkit and a couple mics were all the Cleveland quartet needed to prove pre-laptop aesthetic is still going strong.

Caught somewhere between Pavement and Pop-Punk, the band's self-titled record runs just shy of a half hour. The entire record will pass you by before realizing the track's changed, leaving fragments of melody to bounce around inside your head for the day.

Sure, the lyric “I don't have a heartbeat/Why do you?” may be a little steeped in cheese, but it's also great to sing along to. Playing this record I'm 16 again, in the pit at a Bouncing Souls show. But the thing is, while relying on nearly nostalgic style there's something about this record that makes me look forward too. Drum machine-wielding “experimental” artists draw influence from the 80s, Cloud Nothings just look a decade ahead of that.

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