Cold – Superfiction (2011, Eleven Seven Music)
1. Wicked World … 3:36
2. What Happens Now … 3:42
3. American Dream … 3:38
4. The Break … 3:45
5. Welcome 2 My World … 3:30
6. Emily … 3:36
7. The Crossroads … 4:18
8. Delivering the Saint … 4:24
9. So Long June … 4:41
10. The Park … 3:40
11. Flight of the Superstar … 3:30
12. The Ballad of the Nameless … 3:29
Scooter Ward – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Zac Gilbert – Guitar
Jeremy Marshall – Bass, Backing Vocals
Sam McCandless – Drums
Producer: Jeremy Parker & Kato Khandwala
Apparently at some point Cold broke up after their last album (2005’s A Different Kind of Pain). After being disappointed with the average Year of the Spider (2003), which came after the great 13 Ways to Bleed on Stage (2000), I decided to sit out A Different Kind of Pain. From most accounts, I didn’t miss much. Oh, and for the record, their self-titled debut is terrible.
Now it’s 2011 and Cold has reformed and released brand new album that sometimes sounds like what I’ve come to expect from Cold and sometimes not. Even Scooter Ward’s vocals change from song to song. Listening to the debut single and opener “Wicked World” (which sounds like a song that could’ve been on 13 Ways…) it’s the Scooter we all know but then “What Happens Now” and “Welcome2MyWorld” are so different I’m questioning whether it’s even Scooter singing. Not to mention neither song particularly sounds very much like the Cold of old and “What Happens Now” kind of reminds me of 30 Seconds to Mars. Unfortunately, there are no band credits for some reason anywhere in the booklet other than “All Songs Performed by Cold”.
The third song on the album (and second single) is yet another departure in sound with Scooter’s vocals on “American Dream” falling somewhere in between those he did on the two previous tracks, fitting a much more generic “let’s get this on radio” post-grunge vocal style. The song itself reminds me of a band like Daughtry and is the most commercial track on the album.
By the way, I need to point out one really annoying thing on this album — the drums. It sounds like a drum machine was used for some of these songs and it really bugs me as it just seems to loop the same exact repetitive beats on a number of the songs. It just sounds so lame and limp. If in fact a machine was not used, maybe it’s time for a new drummer.
Though certainly not an uplifting or hopeful album, Superfiction is not as dark, angry or aggressive as previous releases. It shows the band moving more towards the typical post-grunge hard rock sound that radio deems permissible. Ward’s vocals are much more melodic and he does not scream or sound as angry as he has in the past. Even when he says “fuck you” on “The Crossroads” there doesn’t seem to be much conviction behind it though I think musically this is one of the few songs that somewhat reminds me of what I’ve come to expect from the band.
I gave this album a shot out of nostalgia and because it could be picked up at a low price. It’s not a bad album at all. The band is still in emo mode but they are a bit slower, softer, more melancholy and more in line with current hard rock trends than I would have liked. I don’t think the album will gain any new fans (“American Dream” didn’t even chart) but longtime Cold fans like myself will find enjoyable moments on this album even if it those moments aren’t worth getting excited over.
Highlights: “Wicked World”, “What Happens Now”, “American Dream”, “The Crossroads”, “So Long June”, “The Park”