Another Cold Wave Coldwave, Electro Museum of Devotion Heralding the triumphant return of Museum of Devotion, the four-song Another Cold Wave EP is also a testament of perseverance which might easily have never been made were it not for the internet. A little backstory: Formed in 1986 at the University of Michigan, the project, anchored by James Cooper (vocals, guitar, keyboards, and drum machine) and Robert Anderson (guitar, bass, keyboards, and programming), found a home on the Parisian label Lively Arts, and released two albums, ...to the Pink Period (1988) and Wants Versus Needs (1990), as well as an EP, Racist (1989), before the label and its parent company, New Rose Records, folded in 1990. The band (which, at the time, included vocalist and percussionist Christi) shelved the uncompleted 8mm footage it had shot for its first video, "Slomo," and the members went their separate ways for over two decades until friends working at the web design company Purveu encouraged Cooper and Anderson to resurrect the project. Twenty-four years after the "Slomo" footage was originally shot, Purveu completed post-production on the video, and Museum of Devotion officially released it on Youtube. Previously stymied by a flood that destroyed the band's original tapes and a computer crash that took fifteen new songs down with it, Cooper and Anderson felt their work with MoD was unfinished and that digital distribution of the new EP was the safest strategy. My first exposure to Museum of Devotion was their classic song "Canary in a Cathouse" (inspired by a Gustav Klimt painting of Eve staring at an apple) from ...to the Pink Period, and I was instantly entranced. In fact, everything I've heard from that album was stellar. I wasn't quite as fond of the few later songs I heard, which branched out from the band's original coldwave/electro sound into more EBM/techno territory. The good news is that Another Cold Wave is largely a return to MoD's roots. It has the same stripped-down, minimal aesthetic, but feels somehow more organic, and less icy and hard-edged. The soaring female vocals nicely complement Cooper's distant growl, and substantially warm up the otherwise slightly chilly tracks. More slow burn than the fireworks of ...to the Pink Period, which seemed simultaneously somber and a little frenetic, Another Cold Wave eschews instant gratification and invites listeners to immerse themselves in its embrace. Evoking both New Order and early Portion Control, the haunting opening song, "Closer," combines chilly synths, a mechanical drumbeat, and slow, sing-song vocals with a surprisingly uplifting flute at the end. The next song, "Lucky Charm," with its aggressive drumbeat and Mexican-sounding guitar, is suffused with a distinctly southwestern nostalgia. "Forgotten" begins with a fuzzy, Jesus and Mary Chain-like sound, adds a synth part that sounds similar to Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough," and then throws in a little New Order influence for good measure. The soft final track, "The Trees," is mostly instrumental except for the middle segment, which contains a loop in which Cooper's daughter can be heard reciting: "We laid down on the snow and looked up at the sky. The trees sway back and forth." Much more optimistic than I originally expected it to sound, Another Cold Wave has me eagerly anticipating Museum of Devotion's next album, Calling All Spies, which is due this spring. 4
Brutal Resonance

Museum of Devotion - Another Cold Wave

8.0
"Great"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2014 by Infrastition
Heralding the triumphant return of Museum of Devotion, the four-song Another Cold Wave EP is also a testament of perseverance which might easily have never been made were it not for the internet. A little backstory: Formed in 1986 at the University of Michigan, the project, anchored by James Cooper (vocals, guitar, keyboards, and drum machine) and Robert Anderson (guitar, bass, keyboards, and programming), found a home on the Parisian label Lively Arts, and released two albums, ...to the Pink Period (1988) and Wants Versus Needs (1990), as well as an EP, Racist (1989), before the label and its parent company, New Rose Records, folded in 1990. The band (which, at the time, included vocalist and percussionist Christi) shelved the uncompleted 8mm footage it had shot for its first video, "Slomo," and the members went their separate ways for over two decades until friends working at the web design company Purveu encouraged Cooper and Anderson to resurrect the project. Twenty-four years after the "Slomo" footage was originally shot, Purveu completed post-production on the video, and Museum of Devotion officially released it on Youtube. Previously stymied by a flood that destroyed the band's original tapes and a computer crash that took fifteen new songs down with it, Cooper and Anderson felt their work with MoD was unfinished and that digital distribution of the new EP was the safest strategy.

My first exposure to Museum of Devotion was their classic song "Canary in a Cathouse" (inspired by a Gustav Klimt painting of Eve staring at an apple) from ...to the Pink Period, and I was instantly entranced. In fact, everything I've heard from that album was stellar. I wasn't quite as fond of the few later songs I heard, which branched out from the band's original coldwave/electro sound into more EBM/techno territory. The good news is that Another Cold Wave is largely a return to MoD's roots. It has the same stripped-down, minimal aesthetic, but feels somehow more organic, and less icy and hard-edged. The soaring female vocals nicely complement Cooper's distant growl, and substantially warm up the otherwise slightly chilly tracks. More slow burn than the fireworks of ...to the Pink Period, which seemed simultaneously somber and a little frenetic, Another Cold Wave eschews instant gratification and invites listeners to immerse themselves in its embrace.

Evoking both New Order and early Portion Control, the haunting opening song, "Closer," combines chilly synths, a mechanical drumbeat, and slow, sing-song vocals with a surprisingly uplifting flute at the end. The next song, "Lucky Charm," with its aggressive drumbeat and Mexican-sounding guitar, is suffused with a distinctly southwestern nostalgia. "Forgotten" begins with a fuzzy, Jesus and Mary Chain-like sound, adds a synth part that sounds similar to Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough," and then throws in a little New Order influence for good measure. The soft final track, "The Trees," is mostly instrumental except for the middle segment, which contains a loop in which Cooper's daughter can be heard reciting: "We laid down on the snow and looked up at the sky. The trees sway back and forth."

Much more optimistic than I originally expected it to sound, Another Cold Wave has me eagerly anticipating Museum of Devotion's next album, Calling All Spies, which is due this spring. Feb 12 2015

Jaime Jeske

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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