A New January
Cold and Naked
Forging its catchy melodies and angst-driven lyrics in rich textures bathed in industrial, synthpop and new wave, on Cold & Naked, Chicago-based A New January have created a sophisticated and solid piece.
In the tradition of a city known as the birthplace of industrial, A New January don't try to follow the trends, sticking to what they like, sounds from the 80's and 90's that are updated with today's technology. At a time when 80's music is more influential than ever, Cold & Naked goes beyond the simple exercise of nostalgia, the band's longtime distinctive approach having resulted in the creation of their own signature sound.
Complex drum patterns, light guitars, cold wave keyboards and neo-romantic harmonies blend to create a very fluid and seductive music. The opening tracks, the infectious "Take It From Me" and "Words Are Breaking Down", perfectly represent the band, sophisticated and melodious, taking over where the precedent EP After Clothes had left us. Intertwined between the two musical genres, Cold & Naked slightly balances between industrial"Shape Your Tongue", "Pushing" & "Tooms"and smooth electro-popthe moody "Uncreate" and "Drown"melodies always remaining at the core. Techno, another musical current associated with the image of the windy city, hasn't been forgotten with instrumentals such as "Transparent".
While the assimilated rather than carbon copied influence of some bands such as Depeche Mode, NIN and early Moby is perceptible on Cold & Naked, quoting Cure directly with a cover "Just Like Heaven" was unnecessary, as it obviously cannot challenge the original, and should be limited to live performances. While bringing some kind of acknowledgment by their peers, the remix of "Take It From Me" by Martin Atkins (Pigface) is the only real faux-pas here, concluding in a pretty painful overdose of voice samples on an otherwise convincing album.
Cold & Naked also includes a video and other extras.