Cold Cave – Love Comes Close

Cold Cave - Love Comes Close

Cold Cave - Love Comes Close

If you’re old enough to remember the underground, new wave, synth-pop genre that emerged in the late 70s and early 80s, or if you’re any kind of indie-rock trend monger/historian and/or music enthusiast like me (which, I’d like to assume is why you’re reading this in the first place), you’d think that the music of Cold Cave (Wesley Eisold, Caralee McElroy, Dominick Fernow, and Sarah Lipstate) was part of that hip scene from 30 years ago.

It isn’t. And it isn’t a remodeled, revamped or recycled version of it either, it’s the real thing and it’s right on target. It’s a resurrection of the beautiful marriage between man and machine that started with Kraftwerk and worked it’s way through the eerie underbelly of popular new wave and was captured and popularized by the likes of Joy Division/New Order, Ultavox/John Foxx, Gary Numan and even late 80s-era Wire. Cold Cave has stripped away the fluff from the style that would eventually evolve into radio friendly synth-pop and are left with the bare essentials: fuzzy synth frameworks, electronic beats, slick bass grooves, nifty keyboard melodies with icy, atmospherical textures and cool, detached vocals.

Love Comes Close contains 9 tracks of short, simple, solid and catchy synth-rock that’s as vintage as it is fresh. Something you would expect to sound like if Fever Ray and Ms. John Soda were to merge and play a live set for an underground, European dance club. The nebulous song structure, scratchy synths and fuzzy female vocals of opener “Cebe and Me” give way to the upbeat title track with it’s well-defined, New Order style beats and strumming guitar intro as Eisold kicks in with vocals that sound like a combination of Colin Newman (Wire) and Ian Curtis (Joy Division). Swirling and fuzzed out female vocals spice up the brooding synth-rock heard on the shorter, less developed track “Life Magazine” while the driving electronic beats and swirling electronic effects on “The Laurels Of Erotomania” are offset by a clever keyboard hook and a spacey but smooth synth chord progression. But the highlight has to be “Youth and Lust” where all of the aforementioned ingredients come together into a danceable and driving synth-rock nugget.

It’s hard to imagine just what you are in for based on the album cover alone, but apparently the band feel otherwise. According to Eisold, “We spend a lot of thought choosing what we do. The artwork is as imperative as the music. It is the only imagery attached to the recording. We judge books by covers everyday and it is my hope to have the sleeves represent the emotion, or lack of, in the music.”

Recommended Tracks: “Love Comes Close”, “The Laurels Of Erotomania” and “Youth And Lust”

Recommended If You Like (RIYL): New Order, Ms. John Soda, Kraftwerk, Wire, Fever Ray and John Foxx.

Cold Cave:

Matador Records: