Cold Cave became familiar to British audiences thanks to a support slot with Editors. The latter proved their vintage electro direction was an inspired career choice but Cold Cave can claim to have got there first with a sound that owes an equally huge debt to the early 1980’s. Led by New Yorker Wesley Eisold, ‘Cherish The Light Years’ is Cold Cave’s second album and does much to emphasise his darkwave credentials.
‘The Great Pan Is Dead’ tells everything one needs to know about 1980’s excess. It’s got plummy vocals, flamboyant synths, OTT guitars and thunderous percussion. Unsurprisingly, the subtler moments tend to be the most enduring offerings. A strong run begins with ‘Confetti’ – apparently caught halfway between the Miami Vice Theme and Visage – then even a song entitled ‘Catacombs’ manages to be catchy whilst the metronomic rhyhtms underpinning ‘Underworld USA’ ensures Eisold’s vision retains a classy but addictive edge. Later on, the terrific ‘Alchemy And You’ marries trumpets, post-punk grime and slap bass in to a incongruous, glorious whole whilst an industrially-flavoured ‘Burning Sage’ sounds uncomfortably eerie.
The distinct whiff of electroclash is certainly in evidence but Cold Cave avoids cheesy nostalgia with an aura of power and defiance. In short, it’s like listening to an evil version of Ultravox.
Visage, David Wrench. V.A.S.T.