2/23: Cold Cave at Grog Shop

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Cold Cave are like a dance party for depressed cyborgs desperately looking for connections in their retro-futurist dystopia. With their blend of bleak industrial soundscapes, post-punk angularity, noise cacophony, pop mannerisms and an array of synthy kitsch that runs the gamut from staccato blips to fuzzy synesthesia wash, Cold Cave manage to make music that feels both detached and deeply personal. On the recent Love Comes Close, the band blurs the lines between cold, nearly inhuman electronic music and the warmth and vibrancy of classic pop, coming up with something that questions the nature of both types of music. Minor-key synth-pop underscores bouncy melodies and dance-ready beats, with guitar screeches and occasional bursts of intergalactic static cutting through both, allowing them to bleed into one another. Somehow, the downbeat nature of the songs serves to highlight the poppier aspects, even as the brightness strictly define the shadows. Without both elements, neither would seem as convincing, leaving the sound either flatly and pointlessly morose or uncomfortably peppy. Brought together, the two halves of Cold Cave’s sound seem to invite ruminations on the nature of what we find pleasing and what we find distressing. They play the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588), with Hair Police, Emeralds and the Nevari Butchers opening at 9 p.m. Tickets: $7. — Nicholas Hall

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