The second album from thisLondonact is the first one since signing to Candlelight. Having never heard of Cold In Berlin until this came in, I have to say from looking at their website they strike as being a similar “hipster-friendly” dark retro act to O Children who blew me away with their debut back in 2010…with a sound that can appeal just as much to the clean cut post-grad student in the trendy bar in Shoreditch with the latest copy of The Wire under his arm, as those more seriously tuned in to the Goth circuit. Not that it’s a bad thing…An easily accessible album, And Yet is one that instantly clicked for me with massive chorus hooks and rollicking bass grooves aplenty, and vocal lines that had me shouting along as much as boogying.
Album opener ‘Take Control’ strikes in with a mid-paced maundering rhythm, jangling guitars and a brooding bass line that just works nicely. We are straight away introduced to our front lady Maya, whose vocals are a force to be reckoned with. She may not have a voice that is flawless and technically brilliant, but her vocals are commanding and make you sit up and listen. Loud and brash, she has the scream of a banshee and a strong personality that comes across through her lyrics. I like the simplicity of the lyrics on this number, and the depressive tone as it takes us through the mundanity of everyday life.
‘And The Darkness Bangs’ leads in with loud powerful drumming, and an ethereal post-punk strain that feels dejected yet equally energetic. As things really get going, a more metallic edge filters through building to a doom-filled, amped up crescendo while Maya’s wails and shrieks fly overhead. ‘Brick By Brick’ has a lively, rollicking rock and roll rhythm and a fuzzy edge to the production that gives it quite a raw and unpolished sound. ‘Love Is Shame’ is equally vibrant and upbeat. This one has a wicked groove to it, is highly danceable and energetic with plenty of riot-grrl vitriol and a Sonic Youth-esque grunginess.
‘The Visionary’ is a real favourite of mine, I love its militant march that rolls on through with a darkly hypnotic droning sound to the guitars. The background wails are rather ritualistic and there’s something very spellbinding in the writhing melody here.
There are some really strong tracks on this album, with memorable pop structures and dark Gothic moods that really draw you in. Catch them at their album launch at Leeds Library on 1st Sept or London Garage on 7th Sept.
(8/10 Luci Herbert)