Cold – Superfiction
The hardest part of writing album or a show review is trying not to be completely biased towards the bands that you love or against the ones you hate. So after over a year of delays and a working title change from Epic to Superfiction, I was both nervous and excited to finally hear it and get a chance to review the new album from my favorite non-metal band. When people say they have a favorite band, generally they love everything the band has released or they’re at least madly in love with their live show. People are also terribly in denial of any faults of their favorite band which makes for tons of bullshit reviews when you’re looking for new music on sites like Amazon. Rest assured, I am going to stop well short of hailing Superfiction as the album of the year or anything because it is not. But if you’ve enjoyed everything that Cold has done to this date then you won’t be disappointed. If you’re just looking for a total recreation of their self-titled album, this one is not for you.
Instead of trying to pull off another reinvention like Cold did between their previous two albums, front man Scooter Ward seemed to blend bits and pieces from all four Cold albums as well as his short-lived side project The Killer And The Star into one album. While it’s not bad, it’s nowhere as moving as 13 Ways or Year of The Spider both were. The rawness of their self-titled debut shows up at times but most notably in the opening track ‘Wicked World’. The unrefined sound continues into the next track, ‘What Happens Now?’ except it’s more along the lines off of something from A Different Kind Of Pain musically. ‘American Dream’ is telling the story about a girl going to Hollywood, but unfortunately it’s one of the weaker tracks on the album. It’s not overly catchy, and a bit out of place compared to everything else at the beginning of the album but would fit right into place on modern radio which isn’t saying a whole lot. ‘The Break’ has potential since Scooter pulls out the vocal sound he used for Year Of The Spider but it seems to fall flat and never amounts to much after that for some reason. ‘Welcome2MyWorld’ is upbeat and catchy and starts off as borderline experimental compared to what Cold has done in the past before turning into exactly what you’d expect from them. It has the melody of a Weezer song honestly which may or may not be a good thing depending on your tastes. ‘Emily’ is one of the highlights of the album. It’s more to the tempo of something off of 13 Ways To Bleed On Stage, Scooter’s voice sounds great, and it has the moody ups and downs that Cold always has been known for. ‘Crossroads’ keeps with the same feel as ‘Emily’ with the exception of Scooter leaning towards the vocal sound on A Different Kind Of Pain. ‘Delivering The Saints’ is a slow but pleasant track. Oddly enough it’s also the most presence that drummer Sam McCandless has on any song except for the opening track. ‘So Long June’ is one of the coolest, most unique songs Cold has ever written. The song has a certain vibe to it with the effects mixed in that gives you the mental image of being in a 1960’s black and white movie. Lyrically and instrumentally it’s not over the top or anything however it’s hard not to love it. ‘The Park’ isn’t reinventing the wheel or anything either but it’s a good song that could have been stuck on any of the three previous albums. ‘Flight Of The Superstar’ makes the keyboard more prevalent and sounds like a song from The Killer And The Star with guitars added to give it the Cold vibe. The album ends on a decent note with ‘The Ballad Of The Nameless’. It’s a good track, but much like ‘The Break’ doesn’t really go down as overly memorable after the piano intro ends.
Cold has expanded on the storytelling in their songs much like their last album rather than venting their pain and frustration as they did on their first three albums. While it’s not a bad thing by any means, it’s still going to piss off the fans who want to hear the Grundig era Cold. The one thing that I am most disappointed about was the exclusion of the Aerosmith cover ‘Dream On’ that was hinted via Scooter’s Twitter over a year and a half ago. I am happy to say that this isn’t another story of a band reuniting for an easy cash grab. It’s not nu-metal, post-grunge or whatever label they’ve been given in the past as much as it is just alternative rock now. I’m okay with that since it’s not a dozen cookie cutter songs and can hold its own against the modern rock scene. The one thing that I do appreciate a lot about this album just like every other Cold album is how it seems to have a lot of heart and emotion poured into it just like everything else they’ve ever done. While they may not be the most electric live show I’ve ever seen or have a catalogue of epic masterpieces, the feeling conveyed in all of their music is why they’re still my favorite band. The album is a solid 6.5 if I’m going to keep using these number things to describe new releases.