Review by Lindsey Craun.
Flash back a few decades to the late ’80s and early ’90s era. Many regard it as a time when popular music was filled with poppy melodies, synthesized soundscapes and an overall upbeat vibe. That’s exactly the feeling I was left with after listening to Cold Cave’s newest album, Cherish The Light Years, that’s set to come out April 5 on Matador Records.
Once I listened beyond the driving backbeats of the album’s first song, “The Great Pan Is Dead,” I couldn’t help but notice the beautifully poetic lyrics. Frontman Wesley Eisold’s background in writing and poetry clearly served him well during the songwriting process for this album. His resonant baritone voice seems strangely familiar and evokes close comparisons to Modern English vocalist Robbie Grey, in that classic early 90s hit “I Melt With You.” …But not quite so cheesy.
Eisold’s voice isn’t the only aspect reminiscent of such retro-sounding groups, however. Dominick Fernow, who also performs as noise group Prurient, takes charge of drums and amplifiers to contribute an electronic beat. The third, suitably named song on the album,” Confetti,” has a constant fast-paced and dynamic pulsation throughout the background that could accurately be described as effervescent. It reminds me of something you’d hear in the background of a workout video—but in a good way of course.
The same type of vivacity continues on into “Icons of Summer,” but I found the catchy melody of this song to stand out amongst the background noise, unlike in some of the others songs that seem to thrive on the synthesized beats. The song also incorporates other various sound effects that sound like whistles, moving machinery and chaotic whirls. While this may sound like a huge mess of a song, somehow… it works. “Alchemy and You” even introduces (what sounds like) a trumpet to the mix. Cold Cave has a way with intertwining different sounds—synthesizers, voice, instrumentals and other effects—to get an amped up end product you’ll just want to get up and dance to.
“Villains of the Moon” concludes Cherish The Light Years with an epic summation. Caralee McElroy joins Eisold in vocals, adding a vibrant depth to the song. Once more, powerful lyrics come to focus along with driving percussion. There’s a constant stream of energy present throughout the nine songs featured on this album, and it’ll only leave you wanting more.
Listen to “The Great Pan Is Dead” below and download it here.