Once in a little while you stumble on an album that grabs you, maybe it doesn’t have that real WOW factor or constant catchy-ness but for one reason or another you can’t really shake it. That album for me this year was Over Me by San Francisco’s Cold Beat. The band is particularly hard to link properly, but it’s worth a buy, if you like what you hear here the rest matches if not exceeds a lot of what I put here.
The album opens on the bass chocolate of “Rain” which quickly becomes a rich wash of textures, and is one of the rare cases outside of The Kills where I can stand a drum machine. It is also the first of many songs on the album to show the band’s masterful harmonies. “Tinted Glass” is one of many songs on the album to break into the fast frenzy sound persistent throughout, and its vocals are wonderfully high in contrast with the thumping bass.
“Mirror” is a brighter song, keeping the running frenzy sound but on a happy note, and the euphoria is heavy in its bridges and choruses. The solo hear resembles the roar of some sort of celestial creature and feels more alive than anything else. The upbeat tone continues on “Fatal Bond” one of the songs here with verses and choruses that go through at least three sections a piece. The bridge here is an instrumental and vocal call and response brimming with the joy and energy of the band.
“UV” is the fast single off this album, running at a vicious pace and covering as many different sounds as possible. Synths are layered throughout, the vocals range from robotic angel harmonies to super echo eerie, the guitars are hard, fast, yet still manage to flutter around between chords. “Collapse” has a genuine sense of panic to it that is rare to hear in rock, and and its sparing use of synth to texture the choruses is beautiful. It also uses a great backing vocal stereo mix where the vocals seem to be dynamically travelling around as if to signal a crowd.
“Abandon” is an electronic slow jam, where guitars are replaced by violins, it’s shoegaze at its finest and it’s a wonderful slowdance track. “Out Of Time” brings the dance-rock to a faster pace and layers vocals to an almost synth use level of pop-repetitiveness.
“Rumors” is the dark epic of the album, the song has a cinematic aura to it and the chorus really has a blitz chaos to it. It feels like a constant rushing attack and pulls of the great musical feet of creating a mental picture of what’s happening, by far one of the best tracks here (sorry for the lack of links). “Wave” more or less takes this rush and becomes is bright resolution although losing the epic feel and mental picture power of “Rumors.”
“Falling Skyline” brings the panic feel back and adds in some guitars for more attack. The track feels like the musical equivalent of a bombardment in action, with each instrument covering an attack and the vocals the pain of the destruction. “Year 5772” opens on the synth buzz and instantly runs its dark looming rush into a brightly bursting chorus filled with synth strings and bright harmonies. “OSOTW” closes the album with a lot of sustain, and reverb, and some prominent as hell drums. While it keeps the feel of rush and panic of earlier tracks here, it does feel a little done by this point in the album and its real saving grace is the overdrive of its final instrumental outro.