Glacial duo's psych-garage debut casts a chilling spell
Far below the glass ceiling, sunk deep in the slime, lurk Leamington’s Coves: one dusky drug demon in leathers as black as his eyes (John Ridgard, instruments) and one ice-cold chanteuse deadpanning like a zombie Nancy Sinatra (Beck Wood, vocals). Their electro garage rock Wall Of Sound imagines The Velvet Underground force-feeding hallucinogens to The Ronettes, or The Jesus And Mary Chain coming over a bit Mazzy Star. So far so Raveonettes/Kills/Cults, but Coves’ debut ‘Soft Friday’ is far richer and more immersive than most moody boy/girl duos who sound like they were thrown down a well in 1968 usually manage. Giant sonic steps are boldly taken: driving riffs mingle with propulsive electro beats, raga drones and glacial atmospherics to create a dank devil’s dancefloor. And Beck Wood’s chilling melodies are wracked with heartache: “I am a fool for your face”, she coos on the spectral ‘Fool For Your Face’, “my heart stops beating for you” lilts the undead country of ‘Beating’. This is cold-blooded revenge pop that strikes like a shard of shattered plate to the heart.