Under The Influence

Under The Influence: Cloud Nothings Attack On Memory

From the opening notes of Cloud Nothing’s new song, “No Future/No Past,” you immediately notice that Dylan Baldi’s project is growing edgier and more brash without sacrificing the hooks. While it’s easy to attribute the stylistic change Steve Albini, who produces the new Cloud Nothings record, Attack On Memory, much credit is also due to the music Baldi was listening to during the recording process. Dylan sent us a playlist with a roster of those very songs, which he sets up thusly:

While I was writing the songs that would become Attack On Memory, I listened almost exclusively to music that was made before I was born. This is a pretty common practice for me, actually, but I took it to a new level while making the record. I more or less memorized every guitar solo on the best Thin Lizzy albums, listened to only The Wipers for about 3 weeks, and fell asleep to Black Sabbath every night.

This mix condenses my listening habits into an easily digestible “best of,” songs that strongly affected what I was thinking while writing my own music. Not to say that every song on Attack On Memory sounds like Killdozer, but I do think that the influence of these particular tracks is often obvious, and hopefully sheds some light on why the new Cloud Nothings album sounds so different from any of the past recordings.

Check Dylan’s playlist and commentary after the jump, which features the Wipers, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath and more.

1. Black Sabbath – “Supernaut”

This song was recorded when Black Sabbath were totally zonked out on cocaine and god knows what else, which probably explains why they decided to include “Changes” on the same album, let alone any album at all. But the power behind that main riff is undeniable, and the little percussion breakdown in the middle is just icing on the cake.

2. Nina Hagen – “Born In Xixax”

I went to a bunch of record stores last time I was in New York City, and every single one of them had some Nina Hagen record for under five bones. The reason for that is because she’s kind of bad, but this song stays on just the right side of campy. All my favorite music is about one or two steps away from being terrible.

3. Killdozer – “The Pig Was Cool”

Speaking of music that is one or two steps from being terrible: Killdozer. This song is hilarious, and ever since I first found it I’ve had to listen to it at least once a week.

4. Zounds – “This Land”

I could listen to the guitar sounds at the end of this song on repeat forever. Forever. I love them.

5. Thin Lizzy – “For Those Who Love To Live”

Phil Lynott was just a cool dude. This should be what comes up in the dictionary under “Rock Music.” Also what comes up in the dictionary under “songs Atreyu has covered.”

6. The Wipers – “No One Wants An Alien”

The Wipers are undoubtedly the biggest influence on Attack On Memory. Every single Wipers song is amazing. I can’t say enough good things about this band.

7. Bitch Magnet – “Navajo Ace”

Bitch Magnet have been one of my favorite bands for awhile…pretty much pitch perfect post-hardcore, good old-fashioned angular rocking and rolling. Can you roll if you play angular music? Or just rock? I dunno.

8. Swell Maps – “The Helicopter Spies”

This song and Swell Maps in general are an infinite source of recording techniques and ideas for me. There are so many layers of just stuff – not even “musical” stuff, necessarily – and it’s inspiring every time I listen to it. Plus I’m pretty sure it’s named after this movie, which is awesome.

Here’s the playlist as one track:

(via Wichita Recordings)

Attack On Memory is out 1/24 on Carpark.

2012 tour dates:
01/26 – New York, NY @ Studio at Webster Hall
02/16 – Chattanooga, TN @ JJ’s Bohemia
02/17 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
02/18 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree
02/20 – Orlando, FL @ Backbooth
02/21 – Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder
02/23 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
02/24 – San Antonio, TX @ Ten Eleven
02/25 – Austin, TX @ Red 7
02/26 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
02/27 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
02/28 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
02/29 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
03/01 – Costa Mesa, CA @ Detroit Bar
03/02 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echo
03/03 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
03/05 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
03/06 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
03/07 – Vancouver, CA @ The Media Club
03/08 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux
03/09 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
03/10 – Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge
03/12 – Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
03/17 – McAllen, TX @ Simon Sez
03/20 – Nashville, TN @ The End
03/21 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
03/22 – Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
03/24 – Montreal, QC @ Casa del Popolo
03/25 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
03/26 – Providence, RI @ Fete Lounge
03/30 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
03/31 – Washington, DC @ Red Palace
04/01 – Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
04/02 – Buffalo, NY @ Ninth Ward @ Babeville
04/03 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Brillobox
04/04 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick Lounge
04/05 – Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop
04/06 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s Tavern
04/07 – Columbus, OH @ Outland Live