To carry off a musical reinvention, especially one with a pronounced shift into the mainstream, never comes without problems. Haters will hate, and even if it’s just a handful of disillusioned first-wave fans and the odd smirking onlooker (we’ve all been there, it’s fun, don’t deny it) a gear-change into more accessible territory needs a certain chutzpah and confidence in the material to come off right. Enter COLD CAVE. Wesley Eisold’s past in hardcore/screamo outfits Give Up The Ghost and Some Girls could hardly have been a more unlikely progenitor to 2009’s Love Comes Close, a glorious, glacial debut of EBM-accented synthpop which drew inspiration from Joy Division, the Human League, early Ministry and any number of glum Depeche Mode-fixated nihilists with a penchant for hi-energy disco thrills. What set it apart from so much blank-eyed 80s-fixated revivalism was its shiny black pop core, made all the more surprising given the presence of collaborators from Prurient and Xiu Xiu.
New album Cherish The Light Years, the reason for this UK jaunt, dares to up the stakes still further; the choruses are huge, the guitars overdriven, the rhythms more frenetic than anything on its predecessor. The likes of ‘The Great Pan Is Dead’ are the sort of glossy, widescreen electro-pop anthems that indie makeweights like Bloc Party tried on for size; but sleek, lustrous and darkly sexy where those bands came off lumpen and gauche. With the new touring line-up featuring another implausible guest (ex-Mika Miko vocalist Jennifer Clavin), expect a chilly, strobe-lit intensity but watch for the glowing, romantic pop at its heart.
Cold Cave / Man Without Country
Clwb Ifor Bach, Womanby Street, Cardiff
18+| 7:30pm | £7.50 | buy tickets