Jim Hall and Nick Duane have served their time and earned their sonic stripes in a who’s who of East Coast, grassroots bands such as Undergroove and Monolith, Section Eight and Outpatients. Cold Shivers is the result of their collaboration and a five-track e.p. is the first musical offspring to come from this union.
And it’s a fascinating beast, sitting somewhere between a post-punk past and a forward-thinking future, pop infectiousness and proggy poise, groove and grace, adventure and addictiveness.
Talking To Me, which kicks things off, has a Bowie-esque feel to it almost immediately, which is not a bad place to start. Razor wire guitars cut through electronic washes and waves and smart interludes break up the smooth, hypnotic journey.
Stars Pavement has a sort of neo-soulful feeling, a meeting of smooth-funk past and alt-dance future and Too Much To Do opts for a more pop-song approach, though if you are looking for music that panders to the modern idea of what that might be, this is not it, it’s better than that, much better. Car Wreck is bold and spacious, filled with rockabilly twangs and staccato riffs, ebbs and flows of Hammond sounds and shimmering distant electronica and we end with Deeper which is impassioned and angular.
I’m not for one moment saying that we can replace Bowie, we shall not see his like again, but songs such as those found here remind us of how wide-ranging and unrelenting his influence was. It’s not as if Cold Shivers are plundering or plagiarising, this is no nostalgia trip or raid on the sonic treasures of the past. What I am saying is that This That and No Other wouldn’t exist without The Thin White Duke having gone before. Such is the way with all music, icons of the past are keys to the future.
Music is all about what influences lie deep in the artist’s psyche. As influences go, it doesn’t get much better than this.