Reviewed by Jack Derricourt
Who has the nerve to call their band Cool? It’s so moronic it’s brilliant. After years of animal names, it’s witty enough to work. At least they’ll call their record something predictably sober yes?
Best New Music is Cool’s second child. While their debut Paint sounded like a self-conscious endurance race, pacing away from the smouldering ashes of Apollo Ghosts (two of the Cool power trio spawn from that delightful Vancouver band), the newest songs offer some real crowd pleasing energy, without too much heavy-handed post-punkery.
“Oh the world’s completely fucked,” is an interesting way to start an album, especially with a New Order drum shuffle and guitar melody cruising smoothly beneath; but “Best New Track” combats such a bleak opening line with lively energy and an entirely personal perspective on the relatively fucked nature of affairs. The sing-along middle eight is also delightful. I want to be in a room that stinks of stale beer, watching this band, and chanting “Go, just go” with some sprightly lads and lasses.
If there’s one thing “Cool TV,” track number two, possesses, it’s space. A vacuum digs into the vocals, falls away from the guitar and bass, and plucks at every scrap of drum it can get its hands on. Falsetto vocals broadcast the title in technicolour while dew drop guitars almost verge on Stone Roses tones and time warps. The whole track is refreshing and very different from the rest of the album.
“I’m One of Them” is the gem on the record. It sounds typically Vancouver — which is to say, powerful like a lumberjack with a pocket full of paycheque, and rhythmic like a lumberjack with a throbbing hangover the following day. Half Orange Juice, half straight vodka, the song is a total crooner. Visions of beer halls and suburban love affairs accompany the lyrics, while the tom-tom heavy drum beat sounds so vintage it’s heartwarming. There’s no derision to this track. From the first descent of the chords to the last stroke of the snare, this tune is straight up and earnest.
Cool are what they claim to be. The four songs on Best New Music are solid, well-recorded, and a lot of fun. I’m one of them — or at least I’d like to be.
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)
Top Tracks: “Best New Track” ; “I’m One of Them”