Cold Pumas - ‘Persistent Malaise’ (Faux Discx)

31 Oct 2012

" A particularly endearing collection of songs that enable you to be wrapped up, tightly within their sonic web. Cold Pumas have put together a forward-thinking and indulgent record that’s not shy of ideas...

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Cold Pumas, the trio of Dan Reeves, Oliver & Patrick Fisher, are a band that initially emerged from the once-burgeoning UK lo-fi scene that seemed to reach its peak around the late noughties. After a series of small releases, including split singles with contemporaries such as Fair Ohs, they’ve finally decided to grace us with their debut album.

Yet, despite being roped in, perhaps inappropriately, with a bunch of surf-pop peddling punks, Cold Pumas have retained a sound throughout their career that, as well as setting them slightly apart and abreast from the pack, allows them to fully indulge in what you suspect is their first love; repetition.

It was one of the most striking elements of one of their first songs “Altered Yeast”, from their 2009 split with Male Bonding, and that raucous sound, though more concise and subdued, remains. From the album’s opening bars you’re treated to these addictive guitar jams, surely daubed in some kind of sonic sugar.

An audible highlight is “Variety Lights”, which sounds like a long, drawn-out and antagonising take on The Strokes’ “The Modern Age” – it just builds and builds and builds, as opposed to the aforementioned comparison’s almost-instant and hook-laden gratification. For this album mid-section, Cold Pumas leave you wanting, they’re pulling you along a steep and stark road that ultimately peters out before, before again presenting another riff-tastic, meditative affair.

Patrick Fisher’s entrancing vocals wraith around the tracks; on standouts like “Fog Cutter”, which starts as if it is on the verge of breaking into ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky”, his yelps remind of (dare-we-say-it?) an early Ian Curtis, punchy and unintelligible vocal hooks that builds into the repetitious sonic bombardment as much as their instruments.

Penultimate track “Rayon Gris” offers a slight reprieve; a more conventional song seems to be shoehorned in against a relaxing and melodic loop. It’s here that Fisher’s vocals are at their most alluring, calmly serenading whilst drifting away. The album closer, “Vanishing Point”, breaks this dream-like incitement; it’s one of the record’s most hard-edged and direct songs, which seem more of a creative suite of loud, quiet and loud moments. It’s also the longest track on the whole album.

It’s a particularly endearing collection of songs that enable you to be wrapped up, tightly within their sonic web. Cold Pumas have put together a forward-thinking and indulgent record that’s not shy of ideas. It’s one not to be missed.

Persistent Malaise sees release on November 5th via the self-described “triumvirate split between Faux Discx, Gringo Records and Italian Beach Babes”.

Listen to the album below. 

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