Cold Showers, “Plantlife”

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An artist’s sophomore record often acts as a crucial milestone in deciding the direction of a career, and the knowledge of self in a given genre. After the release of their first record, Love and Regret, California quartet Cold Showers could have been described as anything under a dark umbrella of 80s-influenced punk sounds. With the announcement of a new record, entitled Matter of Choice (out August 28 on Dais Records), and the subsequent drop of their new single, “Plantlife,” the scales have certainly been tipped in a solidifying shell of no-wave. The track opens with a signature pummeling, yet danceable rhythm section, smoke-screened with heavier synth blows and ambiguously airy guitar highs. Coldly caressing vocals coat the granular synth roadway in a loving, vibrating glow, the color of the entire post-punk movement in the 80s, nothing short of neon set against black backdrops. The chorus aches in dramatic beauty, “This must be love,” and “Say it ain’t so,” playing to age-old archetypes of romantic idealism and consequent disappointment in a modern world. Remnants of the first record are at play, but a shift in tone is ever noticeable in “Plantlife,” expectant of an even more serious (if it’s even possible) take on a perhaps dated style, and a heartbreakingly realistic, new-age concept of love on Matter of Choice.

Matter of Choice is out August 28 on Dais Records.