Some time ago, we were all slack-jawed out how Interpol seemed to channel the darkness of Ian Curtis, that is, until Antics proved that those N.Y.C. fashion plates only had enough material for one great album.
Their label at the time, Matador, recently set the radar on Philadelphia’s Cold Cave—particularly when their debut created enough stir to sell out of their original configurations.
The only reason I bring this up is because if you were one that swooned at Interpol’s Joy Division leanings then you’ll want to check out Cold Cave’s Love Comes Close.
Don’t be ashamed if you’re an unabashed Ian Curtis worshiper—I certainly am, which is why I’m so giddy that Cold Cave seem to be at the J.D. alter right alongside me, decked out in their best black clothes and Vince Clarke haircut. In reality, Cold Cave play with the shadows a bit more than Depeche Mode or Erasure, thanks to Wesley Eisold’s pale-white baritone and the band’s reliance on left-field synthesizers.
And at just the right moments, Cold Cave brings the pop, and with it the counterbalance to Eisold’s bleak Curtis impersonations. Caralee McElroy throws a great turn of Dare-era Human League vocals, the kind that acknowledge that she was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar.
As you can tell, Love Comes Close works best when you don’t take it so seriously. How can you when one of the song titles is “The Trees Grew Emotions And Then Died” and the guitar part sounds like it was lifted from After The Fire‘s version of “Der Kommissar?”
You’ll need that humor too, when working through a line like “You miss the neon lights / It’s all plastic now” (“Youth And Lust”) that’s whispered over a beat that you’ve sworn you’ve heard on some New Order song from years ago.
If all of the reference points and recommended-if-you-like tags are making your head spin the Love Comes Close may be a bit much to absorb. However, if you can take such unabashed affection and listen with a smile as Cold Cave conjures up their morose blend of post-punk worship, then Love Comes Close will indeed come close to gaining your affection.
Video: Cold Cave – “Life Magazine”
MP3: Cold Cave – “Theme From Tomorrowland” (from the “Death Comes Close” 12″)