Second albums are famously tricky and Cold Cave are precisely the kind of hyped (if hot-and-cold) band that you’d expect to find in creative paralysis after their first LP. What makes ‘Cherish the Light Years’ such an unpleasant experience though, is that it sounds as easy as Wesley Eisold and chums amping the sound of a minor breakdown. Nothing Charlie Sheen worthy, just garden variety self-doubt and lots of it.

What belongs in painfully revealing Facebook updates is, here, shot-through the prism of Eisold’s mortifying lack of perspective into an album’s worth of indistinct emotional mass. What was theatrical, camp and enjoyable on the first LP is laughably pompous here, underpinned musically by nine attempts at writing The Big Epic Pop Song. They’ve ‘opened up’ sound-wise too, meaning that any vestiges of chic European minimalism have evaporated. Instead, a scattershot assemblage of Depeche Mode, Crystal Castles’ bubblegum glitch, Kraftwerk, 80s indie pop, all sung in a low-oscillating emo wail that rips off Paul Haig and Edwyn Collins.

By Edgar Smith

Originally published in issue 26 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. March 2011

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