Let’s turn off the lights, do our best Ian Curtis doe eyes, and make out real hard, ‘cause Philly’s Cough Cool make atmospheric fuzz grooves that hone the hormones. Dan Svizeny coos close in your ear on 29, so warm with reverb and compression you can feel his breath on your neck (and yes, he’s whispering to you on “Disclosure”). Guitar walls, tone knob all the way left, canopy these songs like satin sheets. Spacey drum machine loops drive a constant pulse from start to finish, each layered mood smearing together into an extended experience.
There are occasionally darker, industrial tinges (like the entirety of “Velvet”) that belong more in clubs than the bedroom, but Cough Cool trade mainly on lighter touches interacting together in different ways: the bass and guitar trading roles on breaks in “Misfits 4×4”; the broken snare cracking through a smooth jam riff in “It’s Night (St. Ex)”; the claves gently clinking behind the flanged and distorted guitar doubling of the vocals in “Hail Mary”; the spirals of delay in “Anyway”.
But more than the moods it creates, it’s the hooks on 29 that are truly seductive. Melodies are simple, but weave through the many layers and stick in your ear. While the style fixes its gaze shoeward, Svizeny doesn’t seem morose or bored, just supremely serene. Give 29 a spin and give that special friend a call.