This Cold Fronts article was written by Rory Allden, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Adam Barrett
“I feel young, I’m feeling older again” proclaims Craig Almquist, vocalist of boisterous garage-rockers on the opening track ‘Buschleague’ from their new album ‘Forever Whatever’. It’s a curiously oxymoronic statement which manages to reflect the band’s sound – there’s a real youthful vigour in the delivery, with stylistic flourishes harking back to the days of The Strokes (yeah, Is This It came out in 2001!) and The Vines.
Although Cold Fronts are sonically rooted in genres associated with a bygone era, that’s not to say their sound isn’t relevant – they keep it fresh with some killer guitar work, most notably in ‘Primetime’, which has a guitar solo reminiscent of the stellar six-string work St. Vincent has been doing in the past decade or so, and an octave-pedal on full whack colouring the irresistibly danceable opening riff of ‘Energy Waster’.
Almquist’s youthful exuberance also helps to bring the sound up to date, and the album’s uber-relatable lyrics are probably its biggest triumph. A running theme of the album sees Almquist lamenting a seemingly impending loss of youth, as alluded to earlier, with closing track ‘Darling’ appealing to the hedonists in all of us in its refrain “I need a little bit more self control”.
It’s not as energetic as maybe it needs to be, though – while its dynamics are good and it’s certainly not all on one level, it lacks a little punch that could really set it apart and make the ideas stick in the listener’s head. It doesn’t detract from the album much, though, and it works as it is; perhaps future releases could see the band embrace a more frenetic side, although the aforementioned ‘Darling’ ends with a frenetic crescendo of crashing cymbals, screaming guitars and frantic vocals- it just would have been nice to see more of this running through the record.
For this small fault, though, ‘Forever Whatever’ definitely achieves what it sets out to do. It’s a danceable, relatable album for the millennial generation; themes of love, insecurity, over-excess are peppered throughout which give the songs a tangible weight – and perhaps the most endearing thing about this record is that really these are ten brilliantly written pop songs with a great, retro garage-rock aesthetic.
‘Forever Whatever’ is out now via Sire Records.