Release Date: Sep 2, 2014
Record label: Nettwerk
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
Far below the glass ceiling, sunk deep in the slime, lurk Leamington’s Coves: one dusky drug demon in leathers as black as his eyes (John Ridgard, instruments) and one ice-cold chanteuse deadpanning like a zombie Nancy Sinatra (Beck Wood, vocals). Their electro garage rock Wall Of Sound imagines The Velvet Underground force-feeding hallucinogens to The Ronettes, or The Jesus And Mary Chain coming over a bit Mazzy Star. So far so Raveonettes/Kills/Cults, but Coves’ debut ‘Soft Friday’ is far richer and more immersive than most moody boy/girl duos who sound like they were thrown down a well in 1968 usually manage.
Coves are the U.K.-based project of singer/songwriter Beck Wood and producer John Ridgard. They recorded their debut album Soft Friday in a basement studio called Castle Grayskull, and the kitschy nostalgia must have been oozing off the walls. It definitely made it onto the record, which takes the thick sounds of My Bloody Valentine and plasters them all over Soft Friday's charming pop songs.
Coves took their time releasing their debut album, Soft Friday. Instead of cranking out a set of songs as soon as some buzz began around them, Beck Wood and John Ridgard honed their blend of garage-y glamour and psychedelic atmosphere with several years' worth of singles. Their patience paid off: Soft Friday reveals the pair as a band inspired by like-minded duos such as the Kills and Raveonettes as well as evocative masters such as Echo & the Bunnymen and the Jesus and Mary Chain, but not overly indebted to them.
Pissing in a Belgian dressing room frequented by Elton John isn’t exactly the way to make new friends, but Coves’ mastermind John Ridgard has that dubious claim to fame nevertheless. Ironic, then, that the new buzz band hailing from the inconspicuously humble Leamington Spa took their name from a dated term for ‘old friends’. Whilst multi-instrumentalist Ridgard may be the musical force behind the band, the subtle tones of Beck Wood complete the duo.
Heartache and revenge. It’s amazing how often those come up as the major influences on an album. You’d think, just once, a record might be informed by a period of great stability, of the decision to get a joint account and spend weekends at B&Q looking at paint swatches for the spare room.But no. ‘Soft Friday’ covers the end of Beck Wood’s (singer and lyricist) last relationship and is an album with doomed romance writ large over it.