06-08-12

Make this earth shake.

Cold Summer is a British band. Figures, right? Cold summers are typically British, or even North-Western European for that matter. They're from around Leeds and they probably haven't seen the sun in a while. Cold Summer not only coincides with the weather there, but also with the music these 4 guys make. It's summer-hinted by its sense of melody, dynamics and full-sounding arrangements, but it's doesn't feel warm because of the shivering rhythms, the lyrics and the overall atmosphere. I hope that makes some kind of sense.

So, these guys recently released their second EP this year, it's called Wake and it's pretty intense. You can get it for free at their bandcamp, as well as their previous EP Transitions. If you want a genre-label, let's say post-hardcore, leaning towards the indie rock spectre of said genre. Don't expect heavy breakdowns (thank god). Their first show was at the start of 2012, in support of EOAY Self Defense Family. And while they don't sound alike, I bring this up because they have the same approach to their music. Both bands play "heavy" music but they don't necessarily intend it to be heavy. Okay, that doesn't make much sense again, but trust me on this one. They don't restrict themselves, but also don't have obligations, so that results in free-spirited and open-minded song writing. Great!

On to the EP then. Have I mentioned it's free?

Cold Summer - Wake (2012, DIY)

1. Waiting
2. Wake
3. A Is For Arson
4. Car Crash (In Progress)
5. Mistakes





The band is from a town called Wakefield. My guess is that their origin and the title of this EP are somewhat related. Not entirely sure though. The catchphrase in this release is the powerful exclamation "When will we wake/When we do we'll make this earth shake". This sets the tone alright for what this EP has in petto (dutchism!).
Things start of with guitar feedback. Classic. Then the bass comes marching in, drums come crawling in and finally this musical volcano erupts into this hardcore rock'n'roll like riff that puts the "groove" in "groovy", to the backdrop of a headnodding-worthy mid-paced beat. Things calm down a bit when the vocals start. The guitar plays an emo-like melody that harmonizes with the singer's words. The EP is recorded/produced by Bob Cooper whoe also does Nai Harvest, which I personally think is a great band and it is certainly possible that certain of these twangly sounds are influenced by the kind of music Nai Harvest makes. That aside, Cold Summer do a great job constructing, arranging and composing their songs, which is probably the most important part of songwriting, because, certainly in their style of music, there are a lot of things they want to do, dynamically and melodically, but it's necessary to maintain coherence. In Waiting, the groove returns, the drum fluctuates sporadically and the structure is pretty stable, but between the lines there's quite a few things happening, and that's something Cold Summer definitely uses to their advantage.
In full tradition of contrast dynamics, the next track, also the title track, is a guitar melody-based short song that really focuses the essence of the entire EP, which is an interesting approach on not only musical coherence, but also artistical coherence of the entire release. (It's funny how writing reviews makes you think about these things, while otherwise I would've just said "hurr why is this song so short but it's good though heh yeah".)
Anyway, A Is For Arson is another portrayal of the band's sense of musical composition and climactic song writing. After a rather punk-esque start of the song, where the vocalist's range is broadcasted and leaves the listener nothing but impressed, the song breaks down around the 2-minute mark and suddenly there's an alternative reprise of Wake. This band definitely thinks things through. Car Crash (In Progress) has an awesome almost intimate picked intro/verse riff. as opposed the the wall of sound that is the chorus. The solo/vocals mix really works too. Not my favourite song on this EP, but it's pretty cool.
The last thing you hear from these guys for now is Mistakes, and acoustic track. Whut? Yes, acoustic. It's cool. Trust me. They pull it off. The kind of overwhelming acoustic shit. Very powerful chorus.

Great job from Cold Summer! I'm not a huge fan of this genre but sometimes I like to be reminded of it and I figure I generally always appreciate the sounds. I'd definitely like to hear more from these guys.

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