[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Believe it or not, there was a time when singles dominated the underground. Simply every one had at least four or five, in the case of some of the bands I grew up with this number easily exceeded ten. Alien Sex Fiend, The Cure, The Sisters, Japan, Siouxsie and the Banshees, All About Eve, Magazine, Cabaret Voltaire, Attrition, Portion Control, Love and Rockets, The Klinik, John Foxx… okay, I’ll stop now. Cold Showers are continuing this tradition and by doing so, they may play a part in weaning generation digital off of their screens and back around the record player which is where the young belong dammit. They surely have their sound down pat, there isn’t a wasted note to be heard.
This really is a treat to get such a precise amount of material to investigate, I usually have to contend with mammoth works of near-inscrutable depth and so I thank you, Cold Showers, for your a-side “The Fire” which purrs along anchored by some extremely catchy hooks. Maudlin vocals ramp up the detached apathy quite effectively. One is shown the greyness of rain by the excellent b-side “Crowds”. In fact, true to what a single is about, this song is utterly superior to the borderline pop you encounter on the flip side.
“Crowds” could have easily been an outtake from the Wolfgang Press’ 1986 masterpiece ‘Standing Up Straight’. You know, before TWP discovered De La Soul and dove into dance music unapologetically. The drawn out, mournful saxophone on this song would make Daniel Ash proud. Even though I’ve been in this state of mind before I know when someone is doing what they do out of necessity, not nostalgia. I don’t know the age of anyone who is in this band but I do know this: demons are purged on this song. So crank it up.