Cold Shower is a four-piece indie rock group out of Christchurch, and not the worst way to start a winter’s morning – conversely to that name their debut album ‘CS10’ will have you diving in for more. Whether it’s the quirky lyrics, the driving bass lines or the sharp guitar, there is plenty to enjoy, plus these lads will tell you they’re “…rocking harder than a dog in shoes,” though let’s be clear, I don’t know what that means.
Opening with the fast and fiery Beef Jerky, Thomas Isbister’s bass isn’t mucking around. He sets out an urgency right from the start and when paired with Jak Harris’ guitar they sound like detectives chasing these songs through dark streets. It’s not until Colter Carson’s words flick in and around the sonics that it becomes evident this could just as easily be a comedy starring Clouseau as sound bed to a Scandinavian cop thriller.
The single Machete slows the frantic pace and sees Harris and Carson in a call-and-response, while drummer TJ Smart keeps them buoyant. Then he is doubling down on hi-hats and cymbals in Echo to help bring back the frantic energy that’s reminiscent of Christchurch’s foremost indie darlings, Bang! Bang! Eche! Since BBE! departed from music in 2013 bands like Transistors and Wurld Series have taken up their mantle. This record from Cold Shower puts them firmly on the same trajectory.
The potentially controversial Wuhan Flu sees the band throw it all against the wall in big messy choruses. It’s a helluva release and feels like the culmination of all the pent up energy on previous songs. The strange, Herbal Psycho sees Carlson sounding anywhere between the frontman for bands like Cake and Pavement, and a chanting Sharman. Again it’s a song that plays with the idea of gritty rock band and slapstick comedy.
Cold Shower has delivered a very strong opening effort with ‘CS10’. It fits neatly in the gambit of Christchurch indie rock history while very much being their own sound. It’s also a timely reminder of the immediacy of guitar-driven rock and the genuine joy it brings. There is nothing overly stylised here, nothing fake, just genuine musicians delivering 10 short songs across a range of points.