Occasionally all the insecurities can get a little irritating. You know what I’m talking about, the sulky, undersexed indie-rock of the young and prematurely depressed – always writing dawdling love songs pointed inward, stuck at the age of 17 forever. Sure it can be nice, and provide some comfort in the wee hours of the morning, but occasionally we need something more; something massive, something dichotomous, and arguably, something a little silly.
And we can all probably admit that Cherish the Light Years is a little silly. It’s such an externalized tribute to 80s dramatics that the former lo-fi goths of Cold Cave look more like an amphetamine’d David Bowie. Within the first second the record blasts off into ‘The Great Pan is Dead’ which is swollen with such cinematic love it practically transports the listener into the aimless vagabond most of us indie kids were in our school years. It never slows down either, ‘Pacing Around The Church’ is equally as high-impact; ‘Catacombs’ is in league with the great Cure synth-ballads of the world; and the chugging thespian ridiculousness of ‘Burning Sage’ is utterly preposterous, in the best ways possible. This record uses 8 songs of highly-nostalgic, incredibly compacted electro-goth to blow away all of those aforementioned insecurities with the sheer, uncontrolled, overrunning potency of teenaged love.
But the reason Cherish the Light Years transcends “anglophelic closed-in theater kids with SERIOUS OPINIONS about Bauhaus” and into “genuinely great record” is Wesley Eisfold. The singer-songwriter has a knack for avatar-rock grandiosity, in line with the stadium-crashing champions of the world. His swallowing voice towers over every other sound on the album, and although most of his ideas are copied from older bands, he certainly looks good as an impersonator. It’s as if we took the best of these qualities, the Bowie swagger, the Smith sensuality, the Murphy grimness and the Gahan theatrics and combined them in an amalgamation of powerful, by-the-throat pop. Cold Cave’s bombastic intensity comes at a time where there simply isn’t enough people playing music that demands to be heard.