A few tweaks here and there, and these guys could be a force to be reckoned with.
Cold In Berlin – And Yet
The one thing that has become very apparent to me since joining the team at Rock ‘n’ Reel Reviews is the vibrancy of the today’s UK rock scene.
I’ve had my eyes (and ears) opened to more than a few British bands who I’d never heard of before. The latest of these bands are East London Goth rockers Cold In Berlin who release their second album, And Yet, this month on the prolific Candlelight Records.
Candlelight is a highly regarded label amongst the denizens of the Rocknreel Mansions, but their standard fare of progressive death and black metal acts is normally a wee bit on the extreme side of things for this ole punk rocker. Cold In Berlin on the other hand really struck a nostalgic chord with me.
In the broadest sense of the word, they are a Goth band. Now I’m not talking about those annoying wee face-painted, Manson t-shirt wearing teenage nightmares that take over Central Station in Glasgow on any given Saturday. No, I’m talking about real 80s Goth like the Sisters of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim or Christian Death. Probably the best way to describe Cold In Berlin’s sound is that it’s a bit like listening to the early Sisters of Mercy records with Siouxsie Sioux on vocals and a little bit of Doom drizzled theatrically over the top.
Opening track Take Control kicks off with a wonderfully doom-laden riff before vocalist Maya’s voice slices straight through the mix and leads you into 4 minutes of the most emotionally tortured sounding rock music you’re likely to listen to this year. The bleakness of the lyrics fit perfectly with the droning guitar sound and thumping rhythm section. At this point I found myself raking through the wardrobe for my old German Army surplus parka and my hair crimpers. However it was quickly pointed out to me that the jacket had literally disintegrated sometime round about 1992 and crimpers would be about as much use to me as they would be to Harry Hill.
…And The Darkness Bangs cranks up the Goth a bit more than Take Control did. It has a hint of Wayne Hussey and the Mission about it, as does The Witch, although the latter track has a definite doom vibe going on as well. Cold in Berlin are however much more than some kind of retro Goth tribute act. Their use of indie rhythms and guitar drone has allowed them to fashion a very unique sound that is maintained across the 11 tracks of And Yet.
The glue that binds this epically dark album together is without a doubt the vocal talents of Maya. There are very obvious similarities to Siouxsie Sioux here, but to labour upon that does Maya a grave disservice as her range and ability are second to none. I’m assuming that she is the chief lyric writer as they portray a definite feminist slant without getting all Bikini Kill about it.
So right here, right now, I’m setting forth my manifesto. I’m taking Goth back from the teenage nightmares who stole it, and Cold In Berlin shall be the soundtrack to my dark revolution.