Band You Should Know: Cold Cave

Maybe it's the volatile nature of the beast, but it always seems like it's extremely difficult to keep a good hardcore band together. With all that raw emotion coming out of the singer's throat and the inevitable misplaced flailing limb, it's no wonder that many of the most intense groups break up just as they're getting good (this is called the Hüsker Dü effect). So it was not especially surprising when truly stunning outfit Some Girls called it quits in 2007, right after releasing the stunning Heaven's Pregnant Teens. It's possible that frontman Wesley Eisold has mellowed a bit, but it's more likely that he's simply more curious about machines now, hence his new project Cold Cave.

It's best to think of the Philadelphia-based Cold Cave as the New Order to Some Girls' Joy Division, a synth-heavy, dance-friendly version of a caustic, abrasive experiment. The band's just-released debut album, Love Comes Close, takes the low-fi machinations of Some Girls and runs them through a bevy of turn-of-the-century electronics for a sound that is fuzzy and tough without sacrificing sweetness. Cold Cave's secret weapon is Caralee McElroy, the former member of Xiu Xiu who adds a heaping spoonful of ethereal sweetness, especially on the distorted gem "Life Magazine."

Eisold thinks of himself as a poet as well as a musician (he even has his own publishing company called Heartworm Press), but it'll take a lyric sheet to tell if there is any profundity buried beneath the scuzz of Cold Cave's album. Regardless, it's an incredible evolution for Eisold, as he appears to have gone from caustic savage to psych-pop mastermind in only a few years. Perhaps more hardcore bands should break up after all.