THE BLACK CLOUDS

By: Caitlin Hoffman
For BiggerThanBeyonce.Com

Days like these it’s easy to stop believing. At first glance the scene seems stale; at first glance you wanna pack it in.

Lucky for me there are always new acts, shining as beacons of excellence amongst the industry rubble. The Black Clouds hold fast onto rock philosophies most have eschewed for boring, predictable formulas.

Not to say their music is without influence- from every track you can grip shadows of The Vines, Audioslave or the more visceral feedback of The Pixies. They take what they’ve learned to rip it down and start again. That kind of innovation will always kick-start my motor, and often hold my attention.

Of New Jersey stock, these creative-chaos connoisseurs have taken to the road and the studio by way of do-it-yourself ambition. All their tours have been self-funded and self-booked, just as their LPs have all been self-produced.

Better Days, their 2013 release, is busting with low-tempo mojo. Mixed by John Agnello (known for his work with Sonic Youth and The Hold Steady), the album hosts some dozen songs, most if not all of which are notable. No Reason is an anthem of suburban angst (a common lyrical theme in punk melodies), grinding against a prog-rock backdrop. Fray keeps the angst but moves it into a poignant sensibility, evoking images of walking in the rain with your collar up. Rid of Me is a keen cut of helpless and aggressive, Defective Mind an ode to misfits. All in all you’ll be emotionally stoned, sweat-swathed in hard, decisive rock.

The Black Clouds are so ready for the radio. Are you ready for them?

The Black Clouds – No Reason (Audio)

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