Cold Cave Cold CaveCherish The Light Years
The golden age of post-punk is what makes Cold Cave tick. They drew great inspiration from it on their acclaimed “Love Comes Close”, and they explore it obsessively on this excellent second album. The band led by Wesley Eisold keeps moving in the field discovered so long ago by New Order and The Cure, but while until now, they only incorporated some icy synth passages and the odd industrial bit in their style, on “Cherish The Light Years” they go a lot darker, taking a slash at Depeche Mode and other Mute luminaries and including a fistful of EBM in the sound palette. The wound is deep and bloody, and it shows just how abrasive they can get. Never mind that their most radical fans, angry because of their turning more danceable, have called them sell-outs, the pornographic vision of Cold Cave should be destroying the dancefloors of the biggest clubs.
They sound unmistakably raw now, intense and capable of giving pop one of the few big blows it has received so far this year. The opening track, a dagger as virulent as an A Place To Bury Strangers track with the genius title “The Great Pan Is Dead”, is the most sulphuric and deafening of them all. Without reaching that same level of brutality, the rest of “Cherish The Light Years” easily keeps the listener’s attention. Ferocious, pointy and vehement, its constructed on a solid base that makes the songs sound more secure that their older tracks like “Love Comes Close” and “The Laures Of Erotomania”, which now sound less dangerous. The fuel that fires “Cherish The Light Years” is more expensive and allows the machine to go all the way: the spastic trumpet of “Alchemy Around You” sounds like it tuned by Gang Of Four and the New Order-esque powder of “Icons Of Summer” explodes like fireworks.
You only have to take a look at the track titles to find alchemy, moons, churches and all kinds of catacombs. And it’s not only because of the nocturnal semantics that everything seems so menacing. The band has had more possibilities when recording the album, and it shows. While they conceived “Love Comes Close” almost completely on their computers, this time they could count on the magic touch of sound wizard Chris Coady. On the credit list we find the usual suspects of indie such as Jennifer Calvin (Mika Miko) and Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), apart from a string of names from the worlds of noise, hardcore and metal, most of them friends Eisold has made while playing in such bands. The visceral presence of figures like Daryl Palumbo ( Glassjaw), Sean Martin ( Hatebreed), Ian Dominick Ferow (aka Prurient) and Tonie Joy ( Moss Icon) reinforces the idea that the darkness in Cold Cave isn’t just a pose, but something that is inside them and has been all the time.