Cold and the Crackle
not drowning, waving were never quite the same after their first three albums, of which The Cold & The Crackle is the third, and the bravest. (This is not a bad thing – bands change – but there’s certainly a shift with 1989’s Claim.) Here, they pursue some of the ideas they began to explore in their soundtrack to Canoe Man, which appeared on vinyl as 1986’s The Sing Sing EP; there’s a stronger focus on rhythm now, and the material is more syncretic, “Yes Sir I Can Boogie” opening the album with a flourish of droning guitar, cyclical percussion patterns, and an Irish reel. Some of Bridie’s songs here are deeply moving, particularly the dissections of intimacy in “The Marriage Is A Mess”. Sometimes, The Cold & The Crackle tends toward the epic, but the group largely keep that in check; the music moves like weather systems.
– Jon Dale