Alien ambient and downtempo from an adventurous Melbourne duo.
Though the group's previous output is limited to a couple of low-key 12-inches on the Los Angeles label Total Stasis and a split tape for Wichelroede, CS + Kreme has already produced several aqueous "hits." "Devotion," off their 2016 debut EP and last year's "Roast Ghost" are thoroughly alien, chopped and screwed electronic pop, in cahoots with the music of CS + Kreme's sister band, HTRK.
Cold Shoulder's opening cut, "Eyes On Ceiling," stands in contrast to the warm, narcotic feel of those tunes, embracing a queasy, standoffish mood. Crawling at a glacial 50 BPM, the group's quicksand ambience is shot through with a subversive atonality, heard on the unsettling synth lead and Jack Doepel's free jazz-informed sax solo. The B-side's murky post-punk groove is catchier, as Doepel's extended sax scree mostly colors within the lines. Nearly eight minutes in, Standish sings, "What I wouldn't give, to see his face," a creepy, disembodied anti-chorus sung in the manner of a sleepwalking Don Henley. It feels like another cryptic clue from a band that refuses to spell things out.