Disclaimer: I am not a fan of commercial rock music. That includes about 95% of the “artists” that you see on the likes of Kerrang!, playing arena shows, on major record labels and with the all important image which seems to be the sole selling point. In addition, I dislike all of the bands that try to sound like someone already famous in an attempt to gain popularity.
Now, unfortunately, Cold Summer sound like a band that ticks at least two of those boxes for me. A couple of key aspects are the heavy sound, which sits comfortably around the realms of most modern-metal/hardcore bands, and the stark contrasting screaming/singing in the vocals (to think of a better description).
From the perspective of someone who may happen to like this sound, I will go as far to say that Cold Summer do what they do really well. For one, the vocals are actually all done by one member of the band, not shared between two barely talented “good lookers” like most (for the record, Raging Speedhorn are the only good band to utilise two vocalists (Mushroomhead were too for a brief period).) On top of that, the song writing is one of the more impressive elements to Cold Summer’s music, where although the resulting sound isn’t anything that jumped out for me personally, most songs on Fight To Survive had moments that made me think, this isn’t actually too bad.
Now the real winner for me is the fact that this is a band that runs by DIY ethics, including both recording and putting on shows. Even though that shouldn’t truly affect whether you like an album or not, it definitely counteracted any chance of bias from the previously mentioned gripes of mine.
Without turning this into more of a rant about my views on the current state of music (sorry, Cold Summer) the biggest stand out aspect of these guys as a band is the jagged edge to them. Personally, the vocals, although impressive in variance, aren’t the standout. The songs on Fight To Survive, although not on the whole jumping out as phenomenal, contain sections that are damn fine pieces of writing. I feel that there is a very wide range of influences feeding into different segments, and this is their strongest feat. I would rather hear this used in a more experimental way, but drawn together the resulting sound does work.
The songs are naturally longer, mostly clocking in over 4 minutes, with songs featuring a lot more structure than simple songs and verses, most notably Something, Nothing, No-one. The song that seemed to stick with me the most of the bunch is Car Crash (In Progress), but I keep coming back to the feeling of it sounding so similar to most commercial rock bands.
That, really, is a compliment in its own right, as that’s what most people like. It’s just not to my taste. But I can tell that it will be to a lot of other people’s. Check out the new video for A Time Imagination Forgot To Inspire. If you like, get this EP. What more is there to say?
Jake Hancke – 31/01/2017