Friday, 7 January 2011

Album Review: Cold In Berlin - Give Me Walls

So we’re just into the New Year and you’ve still got some iTunes vouchers that you got for Christmas. What to do?

HMV and other high street record retailers are gradually going the way of the dodo and you feel like one last nostalgic mooch round the shelves before the doors shut for good. What to do?

You feel that your daily commute to work will be enhanced by an iPod earful of full-on top quality rampaging rock music. What to do?

The answers, ladies and gentlemen lies in the purchase of Cold in Berlin’s debut album “Give Me Walls”.

I have loved this band for ages and am delighted that they have survived long enough to set down this batch of songs for posterity. Everything you need to know about the band is present here, and the only thing that you are missing is the live experience of having singer Maya dancing on your furniture and tangling you up in yards of microphone cable.

Cold In Berlin do not really deal in subtlety, so there are no lulls on this record. It’s purely a manic and exhilarating breathless gallop for 30 odd minutes. If this was the soundtrack to your morning run, you’d beat your personal best time and then drop down dead.

It starts with ‘God I Love You’ which sees Maya singing of obsession, half afraid, half excited. “Please don’t leave me by myself…” she pleads, as the guitars smash around her.

Old favourites ‘Inertia’ and ‘Destruction’ follow. These are songs that rely on the mounting hysteria within the singer before they explode in fireworks all around you. It’s the sheer urgency of Cold in Berlin that makes them so intoxicating.

‘What Went Wrong’ is a previous single and it is still one of the highlights of their live set. As is the awesome ‘Total Fear’, with its final screams of “There’s no hope left!” which just get me every time.

And so it goes, culminating in ‘Powerful Woman’, which is as apt a statement of intent as it is possible to imagine.

This album has already upset the delicate sensibilities of the BBC with its uncompromising attitude and language. Good.

‘Give Me Walls’ is a perfectly honed shard of velocity and venom. It makes you feel alive.

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