Cloud Nothings released their self-titled debut last year, and while it was enjoyable and promising, it sort of faded into all the other lo-fi indie pop/rock albums with short and catchy tracks, not really standing out among its “competitors.” One year later, their sophomore effort Attack on Memory is a giant leap forward, maintaining their pop sensibility but giving it a post-hardcore edge. Personally, anything with the label “hardcore” makes me wary. I love hard rock as much as the next guy, but usually when the singing turns to screaming, I’m out. However, Cloud Nothings don’t overdo the “hardcore” stuff, much to their advantage. Their new sound is displayed in album opener “No Future/No Past”, an ominous dirge of sorts with a foreboding piano that builds to an angsty end. “Wasted Days” is an extended 8:54 long jam which ends in lead singer Dylan Baldi yelling “I thought I would be more than this!” The new and assertive 1-2 punch of “No Future/No Past” and “Wasted Days” then gives way to songs such as “Fall In” and “Stay Useless”, more reminiscent of their debut but with more of a grunge flavor. The rest of the album continues the juxtaposition of pop rock with brash and angsty rock, with the latter usually winning out. Ultimately, it’s a powerful album meriting multiple listens.