The Hanging Valley
The long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s best-in-show Persistent Malaise offers at least 33.3% of its buffet to shimmering, inward, mulch-heavy ballads—A Change of Course, The Shaping of the Dream, Murmur of the Heart—showing a sensitivity that inevitably does nothing for the craft beer revolution. If truth be told, the remaining 66.6% threatens to look equally indifferent when served on a wooden board or beside a miniature stainless steel plant pot of hand-cut triple-cooked fries, but such is life.
These songs are mostly about discouragement and the black dog, the tepid whines of self-inflicted unemployment, the repetition of life’s repetitions, the creative dormancies of romantic contentment. Disappointingly there lies no outward mention of pop-up launches, sides of ‘slaw, chakra schools, the urban woodsman or an allusion to an artisan approach.
Across its 38 minutes, the The Hanging Valley instead covers such further peripheral subjects as the imperceptible bow towards the thirty-something honours list, the vacuous, rising diphthong of the inner-city commute and the suppressed rush of blood towards vainglorious internet smear.
‘Now a quartet of fraternal pedants’ whimper the band’s dusty social media accounts in reference to the twilight addition of Lindsay Corstorphine on the bass guitar, ‘cascading down the woodwork, slapping the pegs’ as he goes, dear reader. In truth The Hanging Valley owes us much to Corstorphine’s ample stringmanship as his encouragement toward loosening the conservative shackles of olde. Certainly a weakening of the old guard has taken place somewhere, the gamut of emotion ridden more obliquely and less shamefully now. Ballads stare teary-eyed out of windows towards rain-swept rivieras, vocals and guitars have pulled themselves gamely out of the reverb-soaked hollow and those ‘for the rockers’—Slippery Slopes, Severed Estates, Fugue States et al—no longer grasp for the safety of the halfway house but aim for the stars. ‘More sherberta tambourine’ they cried in the studio, and more sherberta there was.
Cold Pumas hail from Brighton, land of windswept piers, and have been abiding by the three Rs since their inception: Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. Yet their début long-player, Persistent Malaise is the result of an internal aeon of transient rebirths. Released on the 5th November as a triumvirate split between Faux Discx, Gringo Records and Italian Beach Babes, the album is both a metronomic cathedral of married noise and a funnel of kraut-tinged catharsis. It arrives preceded by a wave of 7”s that have captured the taught and at times nascent evolution of this trio of fraternal pedants.
As opined by the album’s name, the sonic unease is at times betrayed deliberately by its rhythmic crux. Indeed, several juxtapositions lie between the persistence of those invigorating textural showers, the locked cadences of the songs and the underpinning of lyrics retelling the ubiquitous dread of a relationship’s decline. It feels at times like being the lone watcher of a party slowly decaying around oblivious guests.
7″s, 12″s, Comps and B-Sides
A collection of songs featured on 7″s, 12″s and compilations, many of which are now sold out. The tracks are positioned in reverse chronological order, in terms of recording date.
FOURTH DATE • DAWN LOBBY
Taken from a 7″ on Volar Records (San Diego, US), released March 2011. Buy the 7″ HERE
THE FRENCH NOTE
Taken from a split 7″ with Women, Fair Ohs and Friendo. Released January 2011 on Faux Discx.
7″ SOLD OUT
Taken from a digital compilation entitled Music Sounds Better With Huw Vol. 2 compiled by Huw Stephens and Wichita. Released October 2010. Buy the whole compilation HERE
BEAT MYSTERY • PARTY DRIP
Taken from a 7″ released in April 2010 on Upset The Rhythm.
Buy the 7″ HERE
Taken from ‘PVI006/IBB004’ a 12″ compilation released by Italian Beach Babes / Paradise Vendors in March 2010.
12″ SOLD OUT
JELA • A TEMPTING HAUNT
Taken from a 12″ released by Hungry For Power in October 2009.
12″ SOLD OUT
PROOF OF MAN
Taken from a CD compilation called Sea Monsters – The Best Of Brighton released by OIB in January 2011. Buy the CD HERE
Taken from a split 7″ with Male Bonding released by Faux Discx in August 2009.
7″ SOLD OUT