The story of Cold is not a even one, which in turn the music has served as solace and comfort for many loyal listeners throughout the near decade since the eponymous debut in 1998. If there is one band who stands above the rest as emotionally driven, then that band would be Jacksonville’s Cold, who’s singer Scooter Ward belts out line after line of anger, love, and personal growth in a world full of hardship and monotony. Since 2003's “Year Of The Spider", guitarist Terry Balsamo left the band in the wake of it’s questionable future and guitarist Kelly Hayes was kicked out due to creative differences, leading Scooter to pick up the guitar again and Matt Loughran to step in, who was with the band back when they were Grundig in the early 90's, and Mike Booth to help out with touring.
For those who have been remotely familiar to the band, it is no secret that frontman Scooter Ward has been battling his own demons, which paints the premise for 2005's “A Different Kind Of Pain". As told by Ward himself, he was sitting by the shore in Florida reflecting on his recent break-up, his sisters failing health, and the turmoil amongst the band, when the skies suddenly began to storm. He looked at it all as a metaphor, and decided that he either has to get his life together or sit back and get caught in the violent storm. So he decided to fight it, check himself into a rehabilitation center, and focus on the only thing that he felt that he could depend on; music.
“A Different Kind Of Pain" is an album full of authentic emotion, alongside of Cold’s usual blend of haunting melodies with driving aggressive rock. Where as their self-titled debut and follow-up magnum opus “13 Ways To Bleed On Stage" leaned on a more angry, horror oriented feel, “Year Of The Spider" and “A Different Kind Of Pain" push for optimism and progression. The opening track “Back Home" tells a story of a person who loses their grip on reality, while “Feel It In Your Heart" questions intentions, pushing forward the intensity of the track with strings and Ward contributing piano. “Anatomy of a Tidal Wave", which pulls along with the somber feel of the album, sums up where Cold stand with their fourth effort. Melding with the previous track, “A Different Kind Of Pain" is a piano oriented ballad that brings out Scooter Wards improving vocals, over following with emotion and the musical intensity that seemingly no band can top. Reminiscent of a “13 Ways To Bleed On Stage" tune, “Another Pill" creates a dark atmosphere that breaks out with a sonic wall of a chorus, a typical trait with this album. Following is the single “Happens All The Time", which features piercing guitars and lyrics of a troubled existence, for example the line “If a dream’s all that I’ve got, then I wish you in a fairy tale where you’re still in love with me, I can see it in your eyes, a look as if your hero fell and lost his soul." There is even a reference to the David Bowie song titled “Space Oddity", which Cold has covered quite impressively, with the line “A look as if your Major Tom has lost control". Next is “When Heaven’s Not Far Away", a heavy track that features the line “If God created love, did he make it for everyone", which is noted to be about Scooter’s sister, Jen, who was diagnosed with cancer. Ward has claimed to be mixed about the idea of religion, but “God’s Song" expresses the fact of human unity and everyone’s place in the world, evident in the line “Everyone’s the same, we are all a part in God’s song." With the current state of the world, anyone with the ability to think is spending a lot of the time doing so on war, which “When Angel’s Fly Away" addresses soldiers leaving home and ultimately their loved ones behind. As told by Scooter, the story behind “Tell Me Why" is a saddening one. “We really connect with our fans. One fan reached out to me online and told me her mom was an alcoholic, tearing it up every night at bars. Her father had beaten her so badly that she went to the hospital with broken ribs and she's only fourteen years old. She was writing that she wanted to get away, so I wrote back and asked her if she wanted me to call the police or Child And Family Services. She wrote me that there was nothing I could do; her mom would deny everything. I told her I would write a song for her and I did my best to put myself in her space, to feel what she went through and I ended up writing 'Tell Me Why.' I'm able to relate to stuff like that because of things that I've gone through or am going through. And I know there's a way to push through and that it's not that drastic, there's always a way out. She knows I wrote this song...I hope that it helps." Closing the album is the driving “Ocean", which ends “A Different Kind Of Pain" on a heavy note that compares Scooters loses to being taken over by the raging tide.
Overall, “A Different Kind Of Pain" is definitely a worthy contribution to any true music fans collection. This music is real, it stands for something, and it holds its own well next to Cold’s impressive catalogue. The lyrical writing has improved, the vocals have improved, the production is definitely the strongest yet, and the more frequently used piano and strings improves the bands melodic structure. For anyone not too familiar with the band, pick this album up and listen to it often.
Personal Note- I’ve been a huge fan of Cold for several years now, “Bleed" being my favorite song for various reasons, and when I first heard this album I liked it about half as much as I do now listening to it for the third time today. There are several similarities between this album and the previous three, mainly in the choice of wording, that turned me off at first, but that quickly went away. For me, “A Different Kind Of Pain" is right up there with all other Cold albums and I am very supportive of it. Cold is one of my favorite bands, and always will be. I highly recommend you purchase “A Different Kind Of Pain" if you haven’t already.
Scooter Ward - Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Jeremy Marshall - Bass
Sam McCandless - Drums
Matt Loughran - Guitar
Mike Booth - Guitar
I fixed it, but could you please not put the members of the band or any other list at the top of the review in future. The admin's said that from now on all reviews have to start with continuous text to make the front page look good. Thanks. Nice review by the way, although I'd give it no more than 2.5/5
im feeling a 4.5
just because there so much emotion in this stuff, ya know. Cold is the bomb, Scooters lyrics helped me through so many times in my life, cuz so many of their songs sing wut im feeling. its kinda overwhelming in a way. and in that little background thing about cold on the page before this one theres a quote where he says "for Cold, music is real. it's medicine. it's therapy. and i think anybody, no matter what age you are, can be affected by it." - which is so true.
I was actually surprised at how genuine this album felt. On Feel It In Your Heart, when Scooter sings 'I don't wanna die alone...' that's some top stuff right there...a more mellow album than they're others, but still really good. It's like a whole album of Wasted Years. Which is fine by me.