Album, Single and EP Reviews


  Painted Nails EP by Cold Cave

Painted Nails EP cover art

Artist: Cold Cave
Title: Painted Nails EP
Catalogue Number: Hospital Productions HOS 226
Review Format: EP
Release Year: 2009

I think it called backfilling. If it isn’t it probably should as some technical term should be used when describing the vinyl junkie’s desire to seek out the obscure in the racks of backwoods records shops just in case it is the lost (and presumably unloved) song that he has been looking for.

And so it was that “Painted Nails” by Cold Cave got bought for a couple of drinks and taken home for a spin on the turntable of love. The label – Hospital Productions – was at least familiar but Cold Cave was not but the use of gratuitous female nudity on the cover and the title of the first song, “Sex Ads”, was more than enough encouragement. There was going to be meaning here. This was going to be deep.

Duly it was. It turns out that Cold Cave – god bless Google – is  a nom de plume for hardcore vocalist and punk poet Wes Eisold – so subtlety was never going to be on the cards. With that in mind, the volume was set to 11 and “Sex Ads” began to work its magic, if self destructive no-fi brutality with indecipherable melody can be called magic. Oddly, the lyrics were lost entirely on the first play – they are helpfully printed on the sleeve – but they reappeared on the next play as if the mere fact of dragging a needle through the groove was enough to set them free. Maybe there was magic there after all?

Squeezed on to the same side of transparent vinyl was “I’ve Seen The Future and It’s Not For Me”. Devoid of words, this song had the distant nihilism of a medium wave radio station transmitting to the doomed and despondent who live their lives in a long abandoned tunnel. In comparison, “Always Someone” was more grandiose, as if such a term could or would ever be applicable to the mood minimalism of Cold Cave, with hints of structural intentions found its deliberate mistiness.  The sun never shines in Cold Cave country.

A lost treasure finally found? Probably not but there would never have been an intention to sparkle anyway.

A limited edition of 500 copies so get out your spade and dig.

Review Date: June 16, 2013