Strictly speaking Cold Cave is the solo project of singer/songwriter Wesley Eisold. But the New York electro popper has never been one to shy away from collaboration. Among the cast pitching in on ‘Cherish The Light Years’ are Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner, Glassjaws’ Daryl Palumbo, Mika Miko’s Jennifer Clavin and Hatebreed’s Sean Martin.
Having assembled an entourage of musical dissidents, Eisold has set about driving Cold Cave towards a darker end of the synth-pop spectrum, and he has succeeded in doing so. The layers of electro, pop and new wave that were mastered on the debut album, ‘Love Comes Close’, are still present in this effort, but they’ve been dragged underground and garnished with industrial beats. The result is a record that might have hailed from the sordid club land of the 80s, and sound-tracked the excesses of the decade.
There are examples of the irresistible baseness that Depeche Mode found in their darker adventures. This is notably the case with ‘Icons of Summer’, which contrasts a playful synthesizer with erratic pads and punchy claps, a formula that will either inspire outlandish dancing or a minor panic attack, depending on the listener’s disposition.
‘Burning Sage’ is a more progressive effort, ghostly keyboard parts gradually building into a crescendo of symbols, powered by a driving minimal techno beat – this is perhaps the furthest departure from previous work. The vocals mimic the monotone eeriness of David Byrne, a technique that Eisold has mastered throughout this collection of songs.
‘Cherish The Light Years’ is brought to a close with an uplifting track, ‘Villains of the Moon’. The fusion of guitars, lively drums and an archetypical Cold Cave synthesizer part conclude a fantastic collection of songs that are as diverse as the album’s host of collaborators. SM