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The 50 Best Albums of 2012

35. Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory

Label: Carpark
Released: January 24

After two albums as the brain behind Cloud Nothings, frontman Dylan Baldi decided to branch out. He went into the studio to record Attack on Memory with his live bandmates and had them play and write songs with him. He also linked with acclaimed producer Steve Albini (he's done it all). The result? A damn near complete left-turn by Baldi and company.

While there are moments of power-pop on here—specifically too-catchy-for-its-own-good lead single "Stay Useless"—the majority of Attack on Memory is raw and, at times, crushing. On "Our Plans," Baldi sounds like he's about to lose his voice amid jangly guitar lines and pummelled drums while "Wasted Days" transforms into a distorted, sprawling freak out. Where can they go from here? -AM

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