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Cold Cave: Love Comes Close to Perfection

Posted by Aaron Detroit, July 27, 2009 06:30pm | Post a Comment

Wesley Eisold
has garnered cult status among many young malcontents for his work in hardcore/noise-punk groups like Give Up The Ghost and Some Girls. So to some it came as bit of a shock when Eisold unveiled his latest project: Cold Cave, a synth-heavy Pop-Industrial group also featuring the likes of Caralee McElroy of Indie-Pop-Noise Experimentalists Xiu Xiu and Noise/Power Electronics Guru Dominick Fernow, aka Prurient.

Early Cold Cave recordings (collected on the CD compilation Creamations, released earlier this year) feature Eisold, mostly solo, building the skeleton for the group. Those tracks lean more towards the noisy and atonal side of things. However, on two now-out-of-print 12" vinyl singles released in late 2008
(The Trees Grew Emotions and Died ) and May 2009 (Etsel & Ruby) the project slowly began to lift its more oppressive atmospheres and mine and expand its dark retro/futurist pop-scope as more members fell into its ranks.

This month saw the release of the group's first full-length album, Love Comes Close, a near-flawless slab of 9 inspired dark-wave and synth-pop anthems. 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 '80's 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." 
 

This also sets Cold Cave far apart from a whole host of lesser bands trying to mine similar territory.

(Bonus Trivia: Eisold settled out of court with pop stars Fallout Boy when they admittedly plagiarized Give Up The Ghost lyrics.)

Love Comes Close is easily one of 2009's best and most vital collection of songs in the genre and beyond, and will likely set the standard for many to measure against.

Amoeba Hollywood has VERY LIMITED copies of Love Comes Close on LP in this week. The CD Digipak version will be available from the store the first week of August. Hurry in for the LP, they're going quickly!

Also, don't forget to pick up a copy Jessie Evans' amazing, year-end-list-worthy, debut solo LP/CD, Is It Fire? at Amoeba Hollywood!

Video: Cold Cave play "The Laurels of Erotomania" at No Fun Fest '09



Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases:

Nachtmahr - Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit CD [Trisol]
L'ame Immortelle mastermind Thomas Rainer's industrial project's new album.

We.Got.this.Far - Bluntforcevolume CD [Spiral Chords]
California Industrial Rock, debut album.

Dope Stars Inc.
- 21st Century Slave CD [Metropolis]
Italian Industial, features the club hits
“Criminal Intents” and “Morning Star.”


In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

6 Comm - Like Stukas Angels Fall: Retrospect 1984 -1990 CD [Kenaz]
Re-recorded album of classic tracks featuring songs from the early 6comm period and also a few tracks from his previous work in Death in June. Electro - Folk - Classical- Martial- Experimental -- 16 great songs, including new versions of "Torture Garden" and "Carousel" with new vocal sections. Nice gold foil blocked Digipak!

Black Sun Productions - Somwhere Between Desire & Despair CD [Torurette]
Awesome full-length new collaboration between
Black Sun Productions and Val Denham! Recorded live at the Transformer Festival, Biel, Switzerland, March 31, 2007!


Still Fresh...

Frozen Plasma - Momentum CD [Metropolis]

Tor Lundvall
- Sleeping and Hiding Limited vinyl LP [Dais]
Dais is flawless! Not a bad release in the bunch! Dreamy bliss in the vein of Talk Talk’s later stuff and Slowdive’s Pygmalion.

Death In June - Braun Buch Zwei CD [Neroz]
(Digitally remastered edition was the bonus CD accompanying the 20th Anniversary Stone Circle Edition of DIJ’s seminal Brown Book album issued in 2007, and contains 7 songs from the original album coupled with 7 remixed, re-recorded and rare versions of the remaining songs. Basically, it’s Brown Book II. The completely recycled paper booklet and 'Repak' is brown with black 'Ultra Coated' images and runes featuring never-before-seen photos from the period.)

Njurmannen - Terror in The Dollhouse [Old Europa Cafe]

Naevus - Truffles of Love (Remastered Reissue) [Old Europa Cafe]

Rome - Flowers from Exile CD [Trisol]
Great New Full-Length at DOMESTIC price!

Les Paradisiers - More Tales From The Garden LIMITED vinyl LP + MP3 card [Disques De Lapin]
Awesome full-length new collaboration between Thomas Nola and O Paradis! Swinging dark cabaret!


 

Jessie Evans, The Vanishing Lady, Returns To California

Posted by Aaron Detroit, July 23, 2009 11:23am | Post a Comment
Greetings and Salutations!! Welcome to the inaugural post of Amoeba’s Black Light District, a new weekly(ish) blog where we shall traverse in the darker realms of the musical & subcultural universe (i.e. Death Rock, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Transgressive Fiction, Dark Wave, Apocalyptic Folk, Goth, Black Metal, B-Movies, Doom Disco, Synthpop, Ethereal Nu-Gaze, Neo-New Beat, Death-Twee, Infernal Drone and all manner of night-friendly sounds and darkly delights! *cue Evil Doctor laugh). Come forth, for we own the night!

This week, California’s prodigal dark queen,
Jessie Evans, jessie evans is it fire?returns for shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles to promote her debut solo LP, Is It Fire? (Fantomette Records). Jessie spent nearly a decade in the California Punk and Death-Rock scenes honing her chops singing and wailing James Chance-style on her trusty saxophone (as well as a few other instruments!) in bands like The Vanishing and the now rather legendary Subtonix.

The Vanishing relocated from San Francisco to Berlin in 2004 but split up soon after, leaving Jessie free for new ventures.
Autonervous, initially a solo project, blossomed into a collaborative project between Evans and Bettina Koster (of the '80s German band MALARIA!). The duo released an LP and toured in 2006. Autonervous marked a heavy shift in direction for Ms. Evans -- her songwriting became more sultry and less incendiary, her lyrics more minimal and focused. Also bubbling under the dancey beats was a new sense of joy. Egads! Her grimace was turning into a smile!

On Is It Fire? that smile has turned into full-on laughte
r, and audibly s
o! It’s not an evil-kind of laughter either, on the interlude track “Micheladas,” Evans can be heard clinking glasses and laughing joyously. The album is indeed a celebration of dark glamour, love and sexuality, from the daring come-on of "Scientist of Love" and the House-y statement of intent, “Let Me On,” on to the horn-y swing of the Autonervous re-take “Golden Snake” and the dark and dreamy sway of “Black Sand” with its chant of “It’s time to get into your body.”

Evans didn’t party completely alone though; in fact, she brought in some heavy-hitters, literally. Both
Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop), and Budgie (Siouxsie & The Banshees) share time behind the drum-kit on the album. Evans’ arrangements focus heavily on beat and rhythm, which adds greatly to the primal and sexual mood of the album, whilst Budgie ‘s presence definitely lends to some Creatures-esque moments. Also under Evans' employ is horn-blower Martin Wenk (Calexico), and an International Children’s choir. This lady throws one crazy shindig!

Half of Is It Fire? was recorded at home in Berlin while the other half was recorded in Jessie’s newest beloved city, Tijuana (Evans pays tribute en Español on 3 tracks). Evans’ ridiculously long list of credible contributors gets longer with production and mixing duties handled by Thomas Stern (Einstürzende Neubauten, Crime and The City Solution) in Berlin and Pepe Mogt (Nortec Collective) in Tijuana.

Regardless of its more famous contributors, Is It Fire? at the end of the day is still Jessie’s party. Her vocals are steamy, not screamy, and her saxophone is booty-shakin’, not siren-screechin’. Is It Fire? stands (so far) as Evans’ crown jewel in an already stellar back-catalog.





Jessie Evans is bringing the Fire party (with Toby Dammit in-tow!) to the Eagle Tavern in San Francisco tonight and to Los Angeles’ Silver Factory Studios on Friday. Don’t forget to bring your party-hat (and/or mask) and dancing shoes!

LIMITED copies on CD and LP of Is It Fire? will hopefully be on the shelves by next week at both Amoeba SF and Amoeba Hollywood!


Also next week, Amoeba Hollywood should be getting very limited copies of Cold Cave’s debut LP Love Comes Close. Look for a review of that right here next week, but consensus around the Hollywood Store for those that have heard the LP is that it’s a heavy contender for Album Of The Year.


Amoeba Hollywood’s Goth/Industrial Section Featured New Releases:

Rome - Flowers from Exile CD [Trisol]
Great New Full-Length at DOMESTIC price!

Les Paradisiers - More Tales From The Garden LIMITED vinyl LP + MP3 card [Disques De Lapin]
Awesome full-length new collaboration between Thomas Nola and O Paradis! Swinging dark cabaret!

Tor Lundvall - Sleeping and Hiding Limited vinyl LP [Dais]
Dais is flawless! Not a bad release in the bunch! Dreamy bliss in the vein of Talk Talk’s later stuff and Slowdive’s Pygmalion.

Death In June - Braun Buch Zwei CD [Neroz]
(Digitally remastered edition was the bonus CD accompanying the 20th Anniversary Stone Circle Edition of DIJ’s seminal Brown Book album issued in 2007, and contains 7 songs from the original album coupled with 7 remixed, re-recorded and rare versions of the remaining songs. Basically, it’s Brown Book II. The completely recycled paper booklet and 'Repak' is brown with black 'Ultra Coated' images and runes featuring never-before-seen photos from the period.)

Dense Vision Shrine - Unwinding The Inside LIMITED CD [r.a.p.]

Njurmannen - Terror in The Dollhouse [Old Europa Cafe]

Naevus - Truffles of Love (Remastered Reissue) [Old Europa Cafe]


In Next Week, Amoeba Hollywood:

Nachtmahr - Alle Lust Will Ewigkeit CD [Trisol]

Cold Cave -
Love Comes Close LP [Heartworm/Insound] (Limited Copies on This!)

We.Got.this.Far -
Bluntforcevolume CD [Spiral Chords]


Coming Soon:

New Minimal Wave Titles!

Hot Used Section Tip: Amoeba Hollywood has a few copies of the excellent Rhino 4-Disc box set A Life Less Lived-- full of goodies by The Cure, Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, et al. 3 CDs of 53 Goth Essentials and 12 iconic Goth videos on DVD packaged with an extensive book in a faux-leather lace-up slipcase! Used for only $29.99 !

Secret Society of the Sonic Six, Chrome, Savage Rep & More!!!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, October 10, 2008 10:30pm | Post a Comment

Secret Society of the Sonic Six back on stage

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 9, 2008 09:45am | Post a Comment

Wake the Dead Festival 2

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 21, 2008 11:20pm | Post a Comment
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