Slim Fathers, Mr. Dream, Cloud Nothings at the Media Club

Highly acclaimed blogosphere poppunk darling Cloud Nothings (a.k.a Dylan Baldi) has caught a lot of peoples attention in the last few months with the release of his album Attack On Memory, which was engineered by legendary Steve Albini (who also worked with Nirvana, The Pixies, and Jesus Lizard,). Last Mar. 7 at the Media Club, he proved just what direction indie music may be headed towards a mass of loyal fans and enthused onlookers.

Opening a show to a mostly unengaged audience is never fun to do, but luckily opener Slim Fathers managed to grab the audience attention with their own unique style of proto-art punk. Female fronted and unapologetic, Slim Fathers’ sound was angular, angst-ridden, and often aggressive. Forgoing the typical song structure, Slim Fathers leapt between noisy guitar drones complimented by lighter guitar harmonies, to full on emo-punk breakdowns –something that I thought I left behind in high school, but am thankful has reared its head again. Being Slim Fathers' second show ever, I will be very excited to see them in the future after they’ve got their band feet a bit wetter.

Following up the only local Vancouver act on the bill was Brooklyn’s Mr. Dream, lovingly referred to by audience members as Mr. Nightmare – and I hope you can read the sarcasm in my use of the word “lovingly”. It’s not often you see touring acts that really suck, but Mr. Dream may have been one of the more awful acts I’ve seen in years. Interestingly enough, two of the band’s members write for online music magazine, Pitchfork. Between songs they jokingly referred to themselves as the band System of a Down, which wouldn’t have been too off-point had they changed their singing style and smarmy attitudes. The music was bland, unimpressive, and replaceable. Imagine listening to a modern rock radio station and melding every band into one: that was how Mr. Dream sounded. Maybe shittier, even, because they looked like they didn’t want to be in Vancouver.

Trying to wash away the horrible taste left on the audience’s pallet, Cloud Nothings took the stage. All the members looked like band geeks, with unbuttoned shirts exposing scrawny chests; however, Cloud Nothings’ volume, listenablity, and musicianship was on a level unseen by the other bands that night. Although deafeningly loud, all the hooks off Attack On Memory translated well live, including Dylan Baldi’s newfound throat scream, which was unheard of on the last two Cloud Nothings records. Save a few hard to watch “jam sessions” that literally made my ears pop, Cloud Nothings sent everyone out into the night feeling pretty swell.

//Colin Spensley, writer
//Author photograph

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