REVIEW: Cold Cave – “Cherish The Light Years”

Cold Cave / Cherish The Light Years / Matador Records

For those who haven’t been keeping close tabs on Wesley Eisold (singer from the defunct Boston hardcore group Give Up The Ghost), he has taken a very different musical turn of late with the solo project Cold Cave. Rather than spend any more time pursuing an angry, sweaty scene, Eisold has instead chosen to pursue a more retro, mournful, sweaty scene: new wave. On Cherish the Light Years, Cold Cave shows no ironic detachment from the source material and wholeheartedly embraces the sounds of its synthpop forbearers. It’s been interesting in the past few years to hear groups such as Cut Copy and Yeasayer incorporate various styles and tastes with new wave effects to make dynamic records. Eisold obviously has a background in aggressive, fast-paced rock and when this influence comes forward, as on the feverish opening track “The Great Pan is Dead”, it makes a deadly combination.

But, elsewhere, his reliance on the pacing and phrasing used since the ‘80s walks the line of simply being derivative – right down to the Flock of Seagulls-esque bird calls that open “Icons of Summer”. The industrial whirring and clanging pipes on “Burning Sage” are unique on the album – and eventually give way to an enveloping chaotic chorus – but not before the deadly serious delivery of cringe worthy lines of poetry such as “I’ve been breathing with my lung / I’ve been grieving for all that is gone”. Luckily, Eisold’s got a solid enough voice and the beats are so danceable that on most tracks it doesn’t matter what he’s singing – as long as he’s singing it in that peculiarly affected faux-British accent.

Download: “The Great Pan Is Dead”, “Underworld USA”

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