A little later than usual, thanks to a heavy weekend mostly spent with the lovely and newly introduced Dance Magic Dance girls and friends. So, onto a band who I stumbled on a few months ago and instantly fell in love with. They are Cold in Berlin. And next Monday their debut album ‘Give Me Walls’ is released, picking up some much deserved coverage with a 5 star review in Artrocker and an 8/10 in Loud and Quiet. And I’m lucky enough to have a promo of the album here, which I’ve had stuck on repeat for the last month or so. But this isn’t an album review, I’ll leave that to the experts, I just want to talk about why I love their sound and why this band has the ability to really draw you in.
Growling vocals, heavy bass lines, tight drum beats and vicious guitar lines. There are hints of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at their most visceral here - think ‘Art Star’ - but Cold in Berlin are more rock than garage punk. And so I’d loosely mention the rawness of ‘Surfer Rosa’ era Pixies. It’s a sound that really jars with the listener. But there’s more than just raw passion and intensity here. On ‘White Horse’, which for me is one of the stand-out tracks on the album, they approach the song with more patience then on some of their more thundering tracks, giving both guitar and vocals a little more room to breathe. Overall a much stronger song progression, with ‘Loud Quiet Loud’ thrown in. ‘Break My Bones’ is another favourite of mine, really showcasing the driving guitar lines and lead singer Maya who’s ferocity comes through on record, with her abrasive rasping vocal style.
The album captures their sound well, but Cold in Berlin are at their best - their most brutal, passionate and energetic - live. Far from the kind of band that remains static throughout much of a performance, the band often find themselves strewn throughout the venue as their set goes on. My first experience of them saw lead singer Maya clearing a way through a packed audience, the gaze of the room fixated on her every move as she snarled and screeched, repeating the line ‘Nothing really does it for me these days’, and falling to her knees. Later, wrapping the mic lead around a group of unsuspecting audience members and tugging them back towards the stage. This is a band that knows how to perform. As I leave the venue I’m nearly on edge, buzzing with excitement, and I want more. Catch their live album launch at the Old Blue Last this Friday (26th).