[sic] Magazine

Cold Pumas – Persistent Malaise

Alongside any or all of the bands on Marshall Teller and/or distributed by Italian Beach Babes , Brighton-via-Exeter outfit Cold Pumas are frequently cited as evidence to the contrary when the current quality of British guitar bands is called into question. Having threatened a full-length for some time by way of several tantalising post-punk/noise-rock snippets, Persistent Malaise is finally upon us courtesy of the collaborative efforts of the Gringo and Faux Discx labels, the latter of whose head-honcho Dan Reeves here features.

In brief, whilst Persistent Malaise is undeniably an at-times thrilling encounter so too does it sadly disappoint. A major sticking point is that the opening one-two is never really topped, which gives an inevitable and unavoidable air of slow decay throughout the remainder. As such, the great fuzz-chime exchanges of “A Versatile Gift” throw plenty of sharp guitar elbows around and its follow-on, “Fog Cutter”, is full of the best type of Kraut repeats, metallic noise and post-punk tension.

From there on in however, it’s likely you’ll either get bored with the same-y progressions or proper nerd out on Cold Pumas’ lengthy jams – only two of Persistent Malaise ‘s eight tracks clock in at less than five minutes. “Variety Lights” deviates slightly during its instrumental course with some suffocating synth play and “The Modernist Crown” twins infectious feedback segues with increasing tempos not unlike those of DIY heroes No Age . There’s a slowing in pace for the dreamy, early 90s-influenced “Rayon Gris” and the closer “Vanishing Point” refocuses the collection being both dynamic and hypnotic. Yet, these few points of interest aside, we’re largely left with lots of post-punk posturing, but with few knockout punches.

It’s all a bit of shame really because Cold Pumas have so many likeable elements that it’s a mystery why they don’t gel better. At least for now if quizzed on British guitar bands you’d be on safer ground siding with acts such as Warm Brains for period pastiche and Sealings for lo-fi noise. Pity.

Advised downloads: “Fog Cutter” and “A Versatile Gift”.

~Persistent Malaise is out now via the collaborative efforts of Gringo , Faux Discx and Italian Beach Babes .~

Cold Pumas @ bandcamp.com