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The Electronic Throbbing of Cold Cave

Photography: Joe Chapman

Having ended their U.S winter tour in Dallas before returning to their hometown of L.A, Cold Cave managed to capture the mechanical energy of Darkwave and with it engender a rhythmic infection at Club Dada on February 4th. A large crowd of dark-clothed fans dancing all night to a mix of reverberated vocals, melancholic synths and electronic beats seems like evidence that the goth subculture is more alive than ever--and Cold Cave are at the forefront of the modern scene.

Cold Cave - The Idea of Love

Cold Cave is the project of singer-songwriter Wesley Eisold, creating music that separates him from his previous involvement with hardcore punk music. Shifting towards a dismal tone with his songs, Eisold fashioned Cold Cave with themes involving love, death, and introspection, which fit smoothly with a genre like Darkwave. Music of feeling something and nothing simultaneously.

That was the type of atmosphere felt Saturday night, beginning with opening band Drab Majesty. The duo aesthetically resembled the style of the late Klaus Nomi, almost alien, while their sound echoed the dreamy textures of Cocteau Twins. Something notable about their set design was a revolving bust of Apollo in the middle of the stage, while other sculptures were near the musicians. It felt appropriate to have had the god of music onstage, even more so to have light directed at the bust, reflecting it back all around.

In contrast, Cold Cave had almost no light directed at them. Dim blue barely gave way to the shape and forms of the trio onstage. It was only when fans on the front row used flash to take pictures of Eisold that the singer became visible. But the lack of light seemed to barely matter to the crowd as they were driven to move beat after beat by the charisma the act has. Wes Eisold constantly confronted the front of the crowd, singing his guts out to their enlivened expressions, translating the heart of his studio music to live performance. It almost felt like his hardcore punk origins were coming out. Here was the spirit of the modern Darkwave scene.


Cold Cave is heading out overseas for their European tour later this month. Check out some photos from the show below.

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