The Pixies. Nirvana. My Bloody Valentine. Sonic Youth. Cornerstones for a record that will probably convince you from the first track onward: Cold Gawd and their new record God Get Me Fuck Out Of Here is highly convincing and even has an agenda – change the Shoegaze scene in terms of showing that it should open up to minorities and not remain a white boys’ club. The band around mastermind and main songwriter Matt Wainwright does so by bringing something new to the table: R’n’B. Mind blown!
Now a lot of you will probably reply that they don’t hear any R’n’B in these strikingly addictive rock songs that are more like a perfect combo of Shoegaze and Noise Rock and that is also true at first glance and when listening to the record for the first few times. And even after, because musically there is not much Rhythm n Blues happening, it is more of an attitude thing. Matt wanted to bring more African-Americans to the Shoegaze scene and therefore he talks about things and topics related to his life, which might speak to them. He also uses some spoken parts which kind of reflect the sociolect he was born into, like the intro to the third song, ”On The Pale Silver Sofa” which starts with ”Fuck, what you listening to is Cold Gawd, N**”, or the pretty dreamgazey interluder ”Comfort Thug” which is a dialogue between two people whose frequent, but mostly friendly use of the N-word might portray them as African-Americans. Interestingly it also fits pretty well to Cold Gawd’s position as a Shoegaze / Noise Rock band with a minority background, they are outsiders who have to try to get a foot in the door but who are not willing to compromise their art for that. It seems a little bit like a modern way of replicating what James Brown said about being black and proud and saying it out loud. Having more Shoegaze and Rock bands in general with some kind of minority background would surely benefit the scene as it would open up a lot of topics not represented at the moment. Especially when the bands are as good as Cold Gawd, whose mix of big sounds and smooth pop appeal is really something to behold.
Loud is also a good word to describe these eight songs and 30 minutes, because they are not afraid of giving us huge walls of sound and white noise. Behind these we find some very steady and sturdy rhythms and also a lot of pearling and wonderfully melancholic guitar licks. Another important asset not to be forgone here is surely Matt’s vocals which are very well-performed clean vocals, without any shouts or eruptions – the guy can definitely sing. Sometimes his silky tones remind a bit of Chino Moreno but less of Deftones-Chino and more of PALMS-Chino. Frequently, Matt’s voice has a certain dream-like quality which radiates the feeling of us following him through a stream of his sub-consciousness, even when he sings ”still can’t sleep / no peace” (in ”You Should Be Fine Down There”). The lyrics themselves show an introvert person trying to deal with a lack of self-confidence, for example when he says ”I still can’t figure out / who I am / dark skin / present youth / it’s all I can do” from ”Two Iris Prints”. It is as if he wants to talk about two things simultaneously – his own problems and the problems of African-Americans in a predominantly white scene.
The only thing I would certainly wish for would be a mix in which the wonderful vocals are a little more present, a little bit more in the foreground, because sometimes they are so far in the back that it is hard to make out what is being sung. Of course, that little only adds to the mystique and mystery that is God Get Me The Fuck Out Of Here. Oh, I forgot, another thing I definitely wish for as well – a second album by Cold Gawd, as this mix of all the acts mentioned before surely got me hooked and I am sure a lot of you out there will feel the same.