The Cold Beat – Get Safe
Boston three-piece The Cold Beat‘s debut album, Get Safe, lays many of its cards down from the outset. The title may be a little unfortunate: there’s nothing on offer here that’s likely to have your jaw dropping, your eyes popping or any other such cliche. The opening tune, ‘Play to Win’, establishes a formula that recurs throughout the record. Certainly on the occasions when I put Get Safe on in the background whilst working, it dropped into background texture. Safe, indeed.
But that’s unnecessarily harsh; the title presumably refers to a thematic thread of the album (I unfortunately can’t comment, as I’ve been unable to find lyrics online and lack the patience to transcribe). And the formula that opener ‘Play to Win’ establishes is a compelling, more-ish blend of stomping rhythms and mildly anthemic (oxymoronic, sure, but work with me here) songwriting. Even when this album has faded into the background that’s not stopped my head from nodding or my feet from moving or some other such cliche.
It’s a good record, is what I’m saying, and I’ve enjoyed listening to it every time I have. It’s a stylish, well-constructed piece of work, effortlessly catchy with impressive regularity, and has a fullness in its sound that you’d be forgiven for thinking came from a larger line-up.
There are some occasional flourishes that break up the routine, such as ‘Submerge’ with its deliberately underused piano licks – particularly delicate in the intro. There are others that exemplify the aforementioned formula, songs that are elevated above their peers, such as ‘Snake Oil’ which blends mournful vocals and a vague sense of loss with those trademark catchy rhythms, and ‘Turn Blue’ with simple but hooky bass and rolling drums which keep it moving and grooving throughout. There are some moments of lyrical and vocal excellence, too, such as ‘Hook, Line & Sinker’ (lyrics not reproduced here as they honestly work far better heard than read) which also boasts some subtle and evocative lead guitar.
So, Get Safe: an album which it is equally easy to be positive of as it is to be critical of. In spite of my reservations it’s a record I’ve enjoyed and I look forward to seeing where the band go next. Should you give it your time? If you don’t approach it with expectations other than a pleasant and crafted piece of melodic rock & roll with a bit of swing and verve to it, I’d say so.