In 2017, we introduced our readers to a bastard-jazz trio out of Salt Lake City, Utah called THE COLD YEAR with their debut EP entitled “Praise The Goat”.  Now, The Cold Year are becoming seasoned veterans in their craft with their upcoming follow-up release entitled “Prey For Me”.

The Cold Year is composed of Matthew Skaggs on vocals/guitar, Mitch Shepherd on bass, and Josh Cannon on drums.  Based on their eclectic arrangements, they take elements from The Doors, Tom Waits, jazz, and even a touch of Thrice(Beggars album era of Thrice), and throw in some irreverence and create a concoction that balances darkness and lightheartedness in the same token.

“Prey For Me” starts off with “Exordium”.  If you look up in Webster’s Dictionary”, exordium means, “beginning or commencement”, I would say it sounds like the beginning of some mystic or dark ritual.  This introduction to “Prey For Me” sounds like it should be off of an Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller combined with mushrooms to create that psychotic bad acid trip.  It’s an effective way to start off the album.

“Kill Yourself” has tasty guitar licks that sound like a mix of garage rock and “Beggars” era of Thrice, especially when Skaggs shows off with his blues-tinged guitar solo during the instrumental break.    It hits into some jazz/fusion rock before suddenly breaking down into a bluesy garage rock feel to it.  This track alone showcases the growth of The Cold Year.

“Thirty-Three And A Third” has that fuzz sound of an old phonograph to serve as ambiance in the song, while The Cold Year shows off their AM rock meeting the psychedelic feels and spirits of the sound.  It sounds like Skaggs has developed more of an impressive vocal range from this album as opposed to “Praise The Goat”.  The drum work of Josh Cannon showcases a vibe that sounds haunting and brooding while displaying that comedown effect of that hallucinogen that one ingests.  “Ammonia” offers that similar vibe that “Thirty-Three And A Third” offers.

The brass displayed in “Spanish Necks” is definitely tastefully done as it shows off the musicianship of The Cold Year, while “The Masses” offers that blues meets post-grunge vibe,, and “Saint Iscariot” almost offers a 60’s vibe while seeming to talk about the story of Judas’s betrayal, I could be assuming that because of Judas Iscariot.

“Prey For Me” showcases the versatility of The Cold Year.  There’s elements of jazz, garage rock, post-grunge, and even soft rock embedded into the tracks to make it an unpredictable listen that will take multiple layers to fully unpack.  The Cold Year continues to take steps towards becoming what they need to be in this record, and that is taking that balance of total darkness and lightheartedness and making it a captivating listen that provokes the senses.  Madness To Creation gives this a 9 out of 10 stars.  Check out the track listing for the upcoming October 4th release:

  1.  Exordium
  2.  Kill Yourself
  3.  Thirty-Three And A Third
  4.  Ammonia
  5.  Spanish Necks
  6.  The Masses
  7.  Saint Iscariot

The Cold Year have several gigs coming up.  Check out the gig dates below:

Fri. 10/4- The Beehive in Salt Lake City, Utah

Fri. 10/25- The Garten at Mountain West Cider in Salt Lake City, Utah

Sat. 11/2- Matthew Skaggs solo at The Handlebar in Salt Lake City, Utah

For tickets and further information, click here.

Fans can find THE COLD YEAR at the following locations:

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