Under Review: Cold Cave – Cherish The Light Years

My love for new wave music runs deep. It’s always encouraging when a veteran group releases new music, though the inherent nostalgia is too often counted on to be the focus. Sometimes, though, it takes a student of the genre to really capture the excitement of hearing these sounds for the first time. Until forming Cold Cave in 2005, Wesley Eisold was far from the obvious choice for new wave torchbearer. As leader of numerous bangy teen punk bands, Eisold ran the Hot Topic circuit for several years. With 2009’s Love Comes Close, the promise of Cold Cave’s 7” singles and EPs was fulfilled with a set of noisy-but-melodic synthpop tunes. Love Comes Close was the sound of Eisold dipping his toes into the waters of modestly dancefloor-ready music, but Cherish The Light Years is a full commitment to the craft.

Just like Love Comes Close, Cherish The Light Years packs all its punches into a mere nine songs. With the exception of the slightly limp “Burning Sage,” Cherish The Light Years is a nonstop rush of thrilling retro-modernism. Opening slam “The Great Pan Is Dead” pushes noise generator Dominick Fernow’s tricks into the red. Though each song boasts its own strong hooks, none are as surging and punishing as “The Great Pan.” Glitzy keys flitter across “Confetti” and “Pacing Around The Church.” Specific allusions to new wave acts of yore will catch the ears of ‘80s fans, with Haircut 100 horns on “Alchemy Around You” and a rattling synth on closer “Villains Of The Moon” that recalls “Uncertain Smile.” Eisold handles all the lead vocals this time around (though Mika Miko’s Jennifer Clavin does provide the occasional counterpoint). He’s not only starting to sound more confident in reinstating his frontman role, but he really emulates brooding icons like Ian McCulloch, Dave Gahan and Ian Astbury.

Cherish The Light Years would’ve made a fantastic debut, and that makes it an even better sophomore effort. Rather than trying to recapture the thrown-together, distant demeanor of Love Comes Close, Eisold has plowed forward, bringing anthems (“Underworld USA”) and heavy beats (“Icons Of Summer”) with him. It’s refreshing to hear a new artist making his own version of the music of his influences. Like so many bands that have (and continue to) reinterpreted the music of the ‘60s, Eisold has set a rather high bar for any future ‘80s revival acts.

 

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~ by E. on April 4, 2011.

One Response to “Under Review: Cold Cave – Cherish The Light Years”

  1. Cherish The Light Years is my favorite release of theirs. I definitely like the ’80s sound it has.

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