Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 11:51 a.m.
The Hype: Cold Cave's dark, synthpop 2009 album Love Comes Close is the complete amalgamation of 1980s New Wave laced with dark electro. Started by ex-American Nightmare and Give Up The Ghost frontman Wes Eisold, Cold Cave began as a solo project but has evolved to include multi-instrumentalists Dominick Fernow (aka Prurient) and former Xiu Xiu member Caralee McElroy. Cold Cave have built a burgeoning fan base by incorporating New Order's icy hooks and the Cure's bouncing melancholy with a bit of Trent Reznor's deafening industrial crunch.
Wesley Eisold of Cold Cave
The Show: Eisold led a performance teeming with brooding melancholy and Cold Cave managed to transform Pomona's Glass House into Factory Records' Hacienda in Manchester of the mid 80's. Hits like "Love Comes Close" and "Life Magazine" garnered the expected excitement and thumping feet from the crowd, but the standout performances were "I.C.D.K." and "Theme From Tomorrowland," which displayed Fernow's understanding of the dark wave style but implementing his own take on the genre. Caralee MacElroy's feminine touch to the group adds a touch of delicacy to the tracks, a bit of fragility that singer Eisold mirrored.
Cold Cave play it cool
Cold Cave seemed to be the odd man out this date, being the only dance band at a mostly garage rock show. Long Beach's Avi Buffalo charmed with their pop sounds.
LA's Best Coast played a relaxed set of Brian Wilson-inspired lo-fi beach grunge to the excitement and swaying hips of the crowd. After a few timing difficulties with her drummer, Best Coast's Bethany Consentino opened with "Sun Was High (So Was I)" and powered through popular numbers like "So Gone," "That's The Way Boy's Are" and "Something In The Way."
The Smith Westerns are rambunctious kids from Chicago playing rock & roll. These kids (or what look like kids. They can't be over 19) played a set with so much swagger and sexuality it was hard to look away. It almost felt criminal watching the singer sway his guitar and barely-there hips.
The Crowd: Small crowd of 20somethings peppered with grunged-out flannels straight out of a Pearl Jam show, slacks and jean jackets reminiscent of what the actor playing Bernard Sumner in the Ian Curtis biopic Control wore, and the occasional tattooed hardcore kid.
Overheard: "A.M. P.M.!" yelled someone in an attempt to hear an American Nightmare song, to which someone yelled back in reply, "He's not playing any hardcore, asshole!"