Up-and-coming darkwave sensation Cold Cave are in town. Tonight they will be appearing at the Echoplex, for a sure-to-be-packed show in their natural habitat. Last night, however, the band ventured out for a preview to Pomona, where they played the far less hipsterastic Glass House venue.
If you haven't been there, the Glass House is in the city's refurbished "Art's District" and it's a very large space with the feel of a community rec center and no alcohol on the premises (there's a "futuristic," Gehry-on-a-budget bar right next door). It was bold of Cold Cave--a Matador band that can pack any East Side venue and will be playing Matt Groenig's ATP festival in the UK--to book a hard-to-fill show inland, but it kind of made sense given frontman's Wesley Eisold's hardcore past and DIY sensibilities.
The Glass House was sparsely attended for the opening acts and only got half-full for the headliners. Eisold and his crew, however, gave a tight, professional performance. Cold Cave's album Love Comes Close has been hyped as experimental and Eisold has namechecked Fad Gadget, NON, and My Dad is Dead, but their live act is much more synth-poppy than that.
Though sometimes one has the feeling that the band is trying to channel the earnestness of Joy Division ("that mixture of postpunk unease and fluid bleep," Pitchfork decreed, "would've made Cold Cave fit right in on the early-80s Factory Records roster alongside Section 25 or the Durutti Column"), Cold Cave could really be the best wedding bar ever if they lightened up a little.
Anchored by some killer drums, the live set is less cold synth than a fun pastiche of some of the 80s party staples, from the Human League and New Order to dancefloor-ready tracks that sound like Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough" or Q Lazzarus' "Goodbye Horses."
From the Pitchfork interview:
Pitchfork: You say Cold Cave is similar to what you listened to in the past. Are there any specific inspirations?
Wesley Eisold: Yeah, you collect all of these songs in your head over the years and recall the way a song makes you feel more than the specific sounds. In the beginning of the project, when a friend asked what it was going to sound like, I said Yazoo and My Dad is Dead. There's this Franz Gertsch piece, "Marina Makes Up Luciano". I want our music to feel like that.
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You should also know that Cold Cave will be "guest curating" Origami Vinyl tonight prior to the show. From Matablog:
The store will feature a wall of LPs curated by Cold Cave frontman Wes Eisold, some books and records from Eisold's own Heartworm Press, a special DJ set/meet-and-greet from the band and free Colt 45.