Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cold Waste : "Primitive"

The first thing that hit me about these guys was that for a "cold wave" band they have an incredibly organic guitar sound and some Fugazi influence thrown in there as well. The drums could very well and probably are drum machine. The vocals almost sound like the dude from Thursday, at least they get credit for not impersonating Joy Division This fact doesn't phase me until the 3rd song. The guitar sound is so cool it often balances the equation helping me to not key in on the Thursday element. On "Isla" the vocal delivery is more punk rock. Normally I would say give me more emotionally driven vocals that are sung, but here the punk thing works better for the rest of the music.

The style of post- punk they dabble is the 90's version rather than the 80's. The guitar tone is a tight clean distortion and tauntly pounded out. The effects only seem to come in when their guitarist is picking out the chords. "Divine Truth Cult" finds them musically hitting a pretty spot, but the vocals are doing the you know what. So there are some compromises that I find myself coming to when I listen to this album. They hit some really cool Day Dream Nation era Sonic Youth guitars sounds at this point in the album. The singer's melodies all seem the same in Thursday mode.

There is a tender strum to beginning of "Remedial" that races off into more of a surf rock thing. The bass player is yearning for the dark side. The bass is the darkest element to all of their songs. This creates a unique relationship between the bass and the guitar, with the minimal drums or drum machine just keeping a beat in most instances , there are so syncopated crashes that sometime make me wonder if there are some real drums on here after all. The very Cure like bass line to "Unconfirmed" sets the stage for something dismal. The vocals don't dash all my hopes. They are not always in key on this one but not in full on Thursday mode either. The lyrics sound like there might be something here that was worth being said, but certain distractions keep me from ingesting it.

The album closes with "Ichisan" a song that finds them only covering new ground in degrees. There is more harmonics to the guitar and jangle when it is played with more attack, but the least impressive of the bass lines. This is really a guitar players album. It was obviously mixed by one as it is way up from with everything else playing second fiddle. Most of the time rightfully so as this is where the most alluring sounds are coming from, but it makes me wonder how this album would sound with a slightly different mix, the vocals buried and the bass sharing the space with the guitar. But the reality of the album is what we have.It might be counting straws to say this is much more post- hard core than it is post-punk, but I think that is the truth of the matter. This is worth a listen, if you miss late 90's post- hard core with great guitar check this out for sure.I'll give it a 7.5, due to well ... mostly the vocals.

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