Dreamy Fuzzy Guitar Alt Indie Rock With “Cold Equations”
Nashville band Cold Equations, led by the guitarist/vocalist Drew Kohl, has a fresh gem to emerge from this vibrant scene. Their self-titled sophomore album, “Cold Equations,” is a 10-track, 44-minute journey into the heart of alternative indie rock. Drawing inspiration from the likes of The Cure, The Smiths, and The Smashing Pumpkins, while paying homage to Pavement, Elliott Smith, and Johnny Marr, this trio has crafted an album that resonates with nostalgia yet feels refreshingly contemporary. Other than Kohl, the band has Ryan Dishen (drums) and John O’Brien (bass).
From the opening chords of “Identity Crisis,” the album sets the tone with its moody, mid-tempo energy reminiscent of Porcupine Tree. Kohl’s guitar work shines throughout, with a solo that leaves a lasting impression. “Satisfied (Post-Carrot Anhedonia)” follows, introducing a catchy intro riff that invites listeners into a world of jangly guitars and a blend of positive but cynical vibes.
“Set the Boy Free” channels the happier tunes of The Cure, particularly “Just Like Heaven,” delivering a new wave indie rock gem that’s both familiar and exciting. “Eraser” slows things down with an alt-rock ballad filled with raw emotion and dreamy pop sensibilities, showcasing the band’s versatility. “Hanging by a Thread” and “I Am Your Shadow” continue the journey with their jangly alt-rock goodness, offering great guitar work and memorable solos. “Reverie” introduces a heavier alt-rock sound, adding depth to the album’s sonic palette.
“In the Cart” takes listeners on a magical journey with its clean, reverbed guitar tones that create a mystical dreamscape. The lyrics with “was it all just a dream,” perfectly encapsulate the dreamy quality of the track. “State of Mind” is a standout that channels the spirit of The Smashing Pumpkins with sweet riffs and powerful energy. As the album nears its end, “Best for You” serves as a perfect swan song, blending piano and fuzzy guitars to create a textured, emotionally charged atmosphere.
“Cold Equations” combines elements of post-punk, new wave, gothic rock, and shoegaze, resulting in a dense and textured soundscape. The guitar work, ranging from jangly to cloudy to chunky, adds layers of depth to the tracks. Kohl’s melancholic vocal delivery, paired with atmospheric heaviness and fuzz, adds to the album’s dreamy quality. There’s a certain rawness to the sound that keeps it authentic and relatable. Every song on the album is a testament to their songwriting prowess and musicianship, making it an enjoyable and well-crafted journey from start to finish. This is a masterwork by producer Brendan St. Gelais from Smoakstack Studio in Nashville.
“Cold Equations” by Cold Equations is a fantastic debut album that offers a dreamy texture reminiscent of ’90s alternative rock. With its captivating guitar work, evocative lyrics, and nostalgic yet fresh sound, this album is a must-listen for rockheads. Prepare to be transported to a sonic dreamscape and experience the raw beauty of Cold Equations’ music.