The roots of The Cold Blooded Hearts stretch back over two decades, but their current incarnation coalesced in 2015. Since that time, the quintet (fronted by vocalist, and current QPR manager, Gareth Ainsworth) have been finely honing their craft for their long-anticipated debut album. That long player has finally arrived in the shape of The Cold Light Of Day, ten tracks (and a bonus cut) that encapsulate all that’s great about classic rock, whilst adding a modern twist.
As much as the mainstream media keeps pushing genres such as rap and grime, there’s still a big hunger for rock n’ roll, and The Cold Light Of Day serves up a hefty dose. Opening track ‘High’ gives a taste of what’s to come with soaring guitars, a solid back beat, and Gareth’s gravelly, oak-aged vocals all conspiring to create a sublime piece of ear candy. This album has been made with no concessions to prevailing fads and trends, and subsequently it has a timeless feel, and you know it will still sound fresh and exciting many years hence. After the restrained ‘High’, Cold Blooded Hearts unleash the hounds on ‘Love’s Lost’, a high-octane rocker that’s full of peaks and troughs, with the guitars lifting us up upon feathered wings and the drums tethering us to earth. It makes for an intriguing tension of opposites, and one that pulls the listener in two directions.
While most albums released nowadays are just a collection of singles, with each screaming to be the new viral sensation, The Cold Light Of Day has more an old-school aesthetic. With no two songs inhabiting the same sonic space, it has a nice flow that’s akin to a musical journey, and while it is perfectly feasible to dip in and out, it is best consumed whole to fully appreciate its ululation. After the full-throttle thrust of ‘Love’s Lost’, ‘Hollow’ eases off the gas for a more measured, thoughtful ride that’d make the perfect accompaniment to a long road trip, yet it doesn’t seem out of place nestling next to the muscular ‘Eastern Sunrise’, and it is this constant evolution that makes The Cold Light Of Day such a satisfying (and compelling) listen.
With plenty of fire under their feet (and worthy of an exclamation point) ‘Tell Me!’ succinctly captures the excitement of raunchy rock n’ roll, it exists solely in the moment, with no thought of the past or future, it’s simply an effervescent celebration of life, as all good music should be. But, The Cold Blooded Hearts can be cerebral too, as the epic ‘Broken Sky’ attests. Unashamedly classic rock, it recalls classic Skynyrd and, like a tumbleweed rolling across a desert plain, almost imperceptibly takes on more form, until it becomes something humongous. It’s a richly woven tapestry that would make a fine closer, but that honour goes to the whimsical bonus track ‘Conspiracy Of Silence’, a track that’ll haunt you long after the disc’s stopped spinning.
Produced by Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes, The Cold Light Of Day is given the warm, expansive sound it deserves, and when combined with eleven classic rock songs, is not only an album for our times, but for all time.
- Love’s Lost
- Eastern Sunrise
- Worth Waiting
- Cold Road
- Tell Me!
- She Ain’t In Love With Me
- Broken Sky
- Conspiracy Of Silence (Bonus Track)