Cloud Nothings, Tyvek and Popular Music: Not your average punk show

Review: Three raucous acts took the stage at the Lost Horizon on Thursday, Oct. 9 for an evening of guitar noise and explosive energy.

Thursday's punk concert at the Lost Horizon had teeth that bit. That much is easy to discern. What's difficult to pinpoint, however, is when that realization actually set in.

It might have been sometime during the feedback-laden 10-minute set closer from Cloud Nothings, or in the middle of Tyvek's dangerously careening song "Honda," or at the top of the bill when Popular Music surged its way through a glorified basement setlist.

Whenever the aha moment came, it stayed — and rightly so.

Headliner Cloud Nothings stopped in Syracuse for the first time ever on their yearlong tour in support of Here and Nowhere Else, which Carpark Records released in April. It’s fitting, then, that the venue of choice was the Lost Horizon — known affectionately, the hand stamps confirm, as “The Lost” — a storied punk club that’s hosted The Replacements, Fugazi, the Ramones and more.

The show opened with Popular Music, a local five-piece that pounded their way through a brief but aggressive set. The band’s sloppy, off-the-cuff presentation and general abrasiveness endeared them to handful of concertgoers, though their aversion to melody made them impossible to settle into as a new listener. Perfect Pussy’s Ray McAndrew played bass guitar, and some of his bandmates came down to nod their heads to the set.

After the clamor subsided, a new act stepped on stage to make its own. Detroit garage-punk trio Tyvek plugged in their instruments and immediately exploded into “Wayne County Roads,” a power-pop anthem to the locale that birthed them. Through 25 propulsive minutes of riffs and cymbal crash, Tyvek proved their great strength to be unrelenting delivery. Lyric lines run long, drum assaults don’t quit and barn-burners like “Honda” linger inside ringing ears. Through a nonstop set of kinetic power, Tyvek proved they deserve to be talked about on the national level.

Thursday night, however, they were just the appetizer.


Cloud Nothings are a face-meltingly good live band.

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Cloud Nothings burst into a front-loaded set of current and past singles like “Stay Useless,” “Now Hear In” and “Psychic Trauma,” much to the enjoyment of the warmed-up crowd. Teens, gray-hairs and beards sang along or moved their arms rhythmically to songwriter Dylan Baldi’s biting words: “I can feel your pain/ And I feel all right about it.”

Under the “No stage diving” signs duct-taped above the platform, the six-foot Baldi grappled with his guitar as he screamed out songs from this year’s record as well as 2012’s Attack on Memory. Baldi’s large hands stretched across the neck of his guitar, often using his pinkie to access the treble strings and pad out his gruff vocals. As a songwriter, Baldi constructs verses that sprint into incendiary choruses. Seeing him pull it off live — with help from laconic bassist TJ Duke and blurry, sweat-soaked drummer Jayson Gerycz — is nothing short of ecstatic.

As accessible and hooky as Baldi’s songs are, Cloud Nothings knows when to eschew entire song structure to deliver raw, unfiltered noise instead. The show ended as it began, in a pool of ragged aggression, with “Wasted Days,” a song that recalls Nirvana’s “Endless Nameless” in its fury. Afterward, no encore. Cloud Nothings had said everything they needed to say and punctuated it perfectly with bleeding guitars and splintering drumsticks.

The Lost has seen its share of punk acts. Thursday night’s show proved to be greater than the sum of its parts, and for that reason, it was a whole lot more than just your average punk show.

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