Get off your butt. Get your hands dirty. Get the job done.
It's been well over two years since the debut album from Colt, These Things Can't Hurt You Now So Throw Them In The Fire, emerged. That was a beautiful and twisted album, continuing on from the work they'd done so well as Living With Eating Disorders. It was never going to be a worldwide number one. The Tesco/WalMart buyers don't seem to have room in their shopping trolleys for sparse, bleak, gothic electronics. Not when there is a Mimi album on the shelves.
But for the rest of us, who've been following what passes for a career for Jared Hawkes and Andrea Kerr, it was a blisteringly emotional album that dragged you down and lifted you up, often within a single breath. And so, it was with more than a sigh of relief that news of a long overdue follow up EP was greeted with something approaching emotion 'round my way.
And to a large extent, it's more of the same. Which is a good thing as they've been honing their sound for a good few years now. Andrea once described her music as "getting so angry that you hold your breath and some of it is like feeling such despair that you give up. It's quiet and sad at times, and then it is seething and loud. Its like a child that is much, much too sensitive". And it is still all of these things, although as time has passed, the music has been drawing ever in on itself, until sometimes it feels as though you're being utterly crushed.
The four tracks on this EP - "DNA," "Snakes To Dust," "Black Rabbits," and "Static" are all close cousins of each other, as the otherwordly voice of Andrea swoops in and out of dark, dense, electronic relief. It's "Snakes To Dust" that is the Queen of Queens, as it insinuates itself slowly and seductively. Although there is nothing wrong with believing in fairytales, despite the implicit disapproval in the song. "DNA" runs it a close second, and is the single saddest song I've heard in years as Andrea sings of "I run blood over my arms, And rain soaks my back, So that my mind will now erase. All you were." Sometimes affecting, sometimes just downright scary, but always forcing, compelling you to listen. It's the kind of record that Portishead could only ever dream about making, holding more emotion in a single note than Beth Gibbons could summon up in a lifetime of recording.
Seven Tears finds Golden Earring continuing to develop its distinctive blend of hard rock and prog elements, but the end result is not as consistent as 1970's Golden Earring. Seven Tears shows a band willing to take big risks to transform its combination of elements into a totally unique style. The album's highlight is "She Flies on Strange Wings," an art rock epic that combines verses done in a stomping, heavy metal style with spacy choruses and a slow, dreamy midsection that is strongly reminiscent of Pink Floyd. Overall, Seven Tears is more like a collection of songs than a fully realized album, but there are enough strong moments to make it worthwhile for hardcore Golden Earring fans…