Cold Beat - Over Me - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Cold Beat - Over Me

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2014-07-15

‘Rain’, the opening track from the debut album from this San Franciscan quartet, opens with a driving New Order-ish bassline over a Soft Cell-styled synth backbeat, so you know where this one is going straightaway. Vocalist Hannah Lew’s icy vocals hover over the proceedings with the detached aloofness which was occasionally the rubric of like-minded popsters such as Stereolab; ‘Mirror’ could sit comfortably on any of their b-sides.

I’d have liked to hear the vocals further up in the mix. Titles like ‘UV’, ‘Collapse’, and ‘Fatal Bond’ sound like something kinky or very dark and foreboding is going on inside Ms Lew’s head, but with no lyric inserts we’re at a loss, which is a pity because Lew apparently was cathartically exorcizing difficult personal demons throughout the recording sessions. These are the little extras which can add a new dimension to the music and enhance its enjoyment immeasurably.

But what we have is still a pleasant little pop record with energetic beats well-played and enthusiastically delivered. You can dance to it, or hit the chill out room for some needed refreshments and contemplations, particularly on the haunting ‘Abandon’. The production is a little tinny and there aren’t any standout tracks that’ll have you reaching for this often (although the exuberant ‘Wave’ comes close), but when you do, you’ll find yourself bopping along and digging the grooves within.

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