Album Review

Cola - The Gloss

Not quite a reinvention, but they’re still seeking new horizons.

Cola - The Gloss


Born from the ashes of Canadian post-punk band Ought, at times Cola do sometimes feel like a continuation rather than an evolution. The guitars are just as precise and nervy, and Tim Darcy’s poetic drawl is still ever present, but they offer a surprising warmth in contrast to the slow-burning tension of their previous outfit. ‘The Gloss’, like ‘Deep In View’ before it, gives a glimpse into the sunnier side of the frontman’s mind. It’s still one full of unease and angst, the weight of modern society bearing down. “What makes you satisfied?” he questions on ‘Reprise’. But now there’s a hopeful romanticism underpinning everything. “I’m a lame horse / With an optimistic mind,” he sings on the jittery ‘Albatross’, now not content to simply accept his lot. Even in ‘Reprise’, the frenetic guitars that begin the track give way to a much brighter sound by its end.‘The Gloss’ has more in common with turn-of-the- century The Strokes than it does The Fall - a case in point being the undeniable indie disco vibes of ‘Pulling Quotes’. But there’s also a new beast bubbling beneath the surface that we begin to see glimpses of. ‘Bitter Melon’ is the album’s spellbinding closer, all loose percussion and feedback hum that sings of drummer Evan Cartwright’s jazz background. ‘The Gloss’ might not hold a candle to the Television-esque majesty of ‘Sun Coming Down’ - an era firmly in their rearview mirror - but it shows that, together, Darcy’s wit, Stidworthy’s precision, and Cartwright’s skeletal rhythms create something special. It’s not quite a reinvention, but they’re still seeking new horizons. 

Tags: Cola, Reviews, Album Reviews

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