Cold Year of the Spider

I am not a Cold fan. I listened to but didn’t think much of both their self-titled debut disc and their sophomore effort 13 Ways to Bleed Onstage. With that preconception, I expected to continue to dislike the band with their third release Year of the Spider. But it seems the band is coming from a different place on this record. "Stupid Girl” blends a synergy between the driving guitars of Kelly Hayes and Terry Balsamo that alters and greatly improves this band’s sound. But it is vocalist Scooter Ward who pulls the song together. Lyrically, it is a simple song but vocally it is the layers and style of Ward’s quivering, throaty voice that breathes life into the track. Or, then again, maybe it is just the presence of the distinctive vocals of Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo in the background that pulls the track to the forefront. The record has an honest pain that is not the pre-packaged anger that I had come to expect from Cold. "Sad Happy” deals with the deep desire to take on someone else’s hurt. "Change the World,” by far the best track I have heard from this band, talks about wanting simplicity but failing at achieving that sensation. Year of the Spider is not the record that will make people love Cold. It will only soften the attitudes towards their records. (Roadrunner)