Welcome mainstays on the indie-rock circuit proper, Cove have been responsible for some of the most thrillingly electric, bombastically intense shows these ears have witnessed over the past five years. What has occasionally let them down is the transition of material from three guys on a stage to three guys in a studio: although the songs on their 2004 debut album Hi-Watt were strong compositionally - post-rock via a dozen-or-so punk upstarts with aspirations of an Albini-produced long-player and a one-album deal with Dischord - they lacked a certain something production-wise. It's therefore something of a pleasure to report that the pair of songs that grace this seven-inch, a co-production from the twin indies of Unlabel and Noisestar - are both rocking in terms of spirit and studio execution.
An instrumental act though they are, Cove never once ride side-saddle, allowing convention to dictate a song's direction. Thus, 'Threes' is an alarmingly jarring clutter of spiky guitars and brow-scrunching drums. It begins hypnotically, a single riff wandering its way about the listener's head 'til a minute-thirty in, when afterburners are engaged and the entire arrangement shifts both gear and mood. What was once adhering to the post-rock rulebook distorts, twisting itself taut 'til the only possible result is a massive release of energy; as it unravels, guitars collapse inside themselves, leaving only black holes echoing that opening riff into a space somehow darker than it was before.
'Platypus' plays a similarly masochistic game, daring itself to take a step into the unknown, beyond each musician's comfort zone. Here, again, a single riff dominates, although this time it's larger, and bears teeth already bloodied by a kill. Chimes turn to screams which in turn fade into a distant rumble - approaching armies and encroaching danger. It's probably the filthiest, dirtiest and most threatening instrumental track 2006 will hear, topped by a minute of writhing feedback.
Yep, something of a pleasure indeed.
8Mike Diver's Score