Indies And The Underground

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Artist Profile: The Black Clouds

Be loud. Be impassioned. Be dangerous. Those are the rules The Black Clouds live by. Since forming in 2004, the New Jersey rockers have been uncompromising in their mission, sticking to a strict DIY mentality that extends from funding and booking their own tours to their music.

Both their 2008 debut Wishing Well and their latest release Better Days were written, produced and recording by the band. And while both releases were mixed and mastered alt rock royalty–Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mudhoney) tweaked Wishing Well and John Angello (Sonic Youth, Hold Steady) worked his magic on Better Days–the ear-shredding results belong entirely to The Black Clouds.

From the dark, rumbling bass that opens “No Reason” you know these guys mean business. The song fleshes out a down and dirty groove with bluesy soloing and grimy chords, setting the stage for the metal-tinged “Breathing” and the galloping, pummeling  stomp of “Defective Mind.” Then there’s “Again.” Driven by a buzz saw guitar riff and raw, unhinged vocals, the track is guaranteed rafter raiser.

Meanwhile “The Fray” and “I’ll Be Gone,” show the group is equally adept at churning out slow burners and frenetic, garage-style punk . Despite the array of styles, what anchors The Black Cloud’s sound is a focus on melody. The pulverizing riffs and crunchy power chords never drown out the hooky melodies and harmonies.

For those who want to see the quartet in the flesh, The Black Clouds will be playing at The Saint in Asbury Park in New Jersey this Friday, and will perform at Le Grande Fromage in Atlantic City on June and at 111 House in New Paltz, New York on August 10.

Listen to Better Days .





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