Aaron Detroit, Hollywood 07/21/2009
Love Comes Close is a near-flawless slab of 9 inspired dark-wave and synth-pop anthems. Wesley Eisold and Co. wear their influences unashamedly on their sleeves, from the heavily Joy Divison/New Order-esque title track (featuring former Hatebreed axeman Sean Martin on guitar) and the all-around highlight "Youth & Lust" with its Technique-era pulse and fever-dream litany to the immense Gary Numan-throb of "Heaven Was Full." There are also nods to early OMD, Psychic TV, and Chris & Cosey. Beyond the more obvious '80s pop, post-punk and noise influences, Cold Cave also looks to early electronic music for inspiration -- and maybe not where you'd expect -- "The Laurels of Erotomania" sounds like the sinister mope-pop step-child of Hot Butter's version of Gershon Kingsley's "Popcorn." However, none of its love for bygone eras distracts or takes away from the group's own creative merits. The album somehow moves the synth-pop genre forward with its shambolic, distorted, scourged and unpolished (qualities not usually associated with synth-pop) atmosphere, while still remaining lovingly evocative of its predecessors. Much of Cold Cave's special and singular flare also has to do with Eisold's intense, love-lorn and world-weary lyrics (sung jointly by McElroy and Eisold) which chime simple but rich profundities:
"Love comes close/But chooses to spare me/ Death comes close, but ceases to take me."