With Night Jewel
Was it colder outside or inside? Cold Cave, one of our new favorite new bands, create icy synth-rock that's both full of existential angst (sample of one of their happier lyrics: "I see decay, in the coming days") and near-robotic detachment. Which means, even given the sold-out crowd at the Mercury Lounge on Thursday night and pent-up demand outside (there were scalpers!), CC were not in the mood to be audience friendly. On stage, the low lighting and the group's sparse set-up (three synths) meant any energy created was directed inward, not outward.
Which is a shame. While the trio, led by former hardcore screamer Wesley Eisold (who seemed, vocally, to channel Bauhaus-era Peter Murphy and Jim Morrison simultaneously), didn't create much heat, they weren't helped by an audience that seemed more excited to get in than to feel the pain. One of the closing tracks, "Love Comes Clean," features an 80s industrial bounce that should have set off the masses - instead, it was all polite claps and a few dismissive comments (girl in front of us: "Joy Division did it better.") Listen, people, you gotta take the band like the weather, and embrace the winter atmosphere. —Kirk Miller