Take a one-man low-fi bedroom project, add a band, stir in a liberal amount of Steve Albini, cook over high heat, and slice into eight deliciously crunchy tracks robust enough to satisfy anyone with a taste for the Pixies on a cough-syrup binge. That's Westlake resident Dylan Baldi's potent recipe for Attack on Memory, Cloud Nothings' third and best album, which has collected overwhelming praise from the expected (it prompted Rolling Stone to name them "a band to watch") and the unexpected (Time called the album "another win in rock for Ohio"). And like any self-respecting indie-punk kid, Baldi is doing his part to keep the vinyl seven-inch alive. After releasing "For No Reason" as a split single with Toro Y Moi last year, Cloud Nothings will join the hallowed ranks of those who've contributed exclusive songs to Suicide Squeeze Records' limited-edition singles series. With a future this wide open, we can't wait to see what Baldi cooks up next. — Brian Baker
With a Classic Education and Library Time.
8 p.m. Thursday, April 5. Grog Shop. Tickets: $10, $8 in advance; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.
Set Your Goals
Set Your Goals have made a career walking the line between pop-punk and melodic hardcore. The California sextet deals in big, memorable hooks for the Warped Tour set and pogo-worthy breakdowns for the beefy guys in basketball jerseys. They're relentlessly aggressive, but they do it all with a smile. Set Your Goals also happen to pack a secret weapon: two singers. Jordan Brown and Matt Wilson don't really offer different vocal styles — nasal pop-punk snark drives both of them — but the variations they employ keep the songs distinct. The pair harmonize key passages, trade off verses, and even complete each other's lines with the rapid-fire consistency of old-school MCs. So whether they're reminiscing about past tours, growling about the environment, or simply articulating their growing pains, it sounds like a collective shout from a group with a singular vision. — Matt Whelihan
With Cartel, Hit the Lights, Mixtapes, Super Prime, and Light Years. 7 p.m. Friday, April 6. Peabody's. Tickets: $15, $13 in advance; call 216-776-9999 or go to peabodys.com.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.