The Cold Year is a band located out of Salt Lake City, Utah, that has been together for about two years. They have recently released their debut album titled Praise the Goat, which incorporates elements of rock, indie rock, garage and soul. It is a pretty straightforward listen and won’t really do anything to surprise you, however it does have its moments.
This was one of those times where it was nice to hear that the band certainly does have a characteristic sound— the arguable drawback being that all of the songs on the album fit into that mold pretty directly, and as such there was not much variety.
I applaud the band for their raucousness— Praise the Goat has a charming DIY aesthetic and sound to it, which was fun to listen to, especially considering the album sounds like it was fun to make. If anything, to me it sounded like a release of sorts for the members of the band.
For example, the song “Rag,” which reminded me a lot of an early Black Keys track, sounded like a personified breakthrough of sorts. Then there are songs like “Oh Eve” which are a lot less involved, illustrating the band’s softer sensibilities. It is obvious when listening that strong emotional nature is consistent in each track.
As far as production goes, it wasn’t bad, but it was not great, either. As I mentioned earlier, it has the DIY sound, which works better for some songs than others. At times I found that stronger production could have helped some of the harder parts hit…. well, harder. The vocals sounded the best to me out of any instrument, which was good considering it is at the front of just about each tune.
Going forward, I would like to see The Cold Year explore a bit more, and try to move a little out of their comfort zone. They have found a niche of sorts, and I think it would help them both artistically and in terms of success if they were to look forward. It sounds like they certainly have the potential and the talent, however I hope they develop the vision. That being said Praise the Goat is certainly worth some of your time.
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