In rock, for some, there is tragedy piled upon adversity. Sub Sub started out with chart success as Sub Sub, with ‘Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)’ reaching #3 in the singles chart, and ended in flames, with the band’s recording studio burning down in 1996, on the birthday of band members and twins Andy and Jez Williams. Together with the third member of Sub Sub, Jimi Goodwin, they moved into indie rock territory, reformed as Doves, and set about re-establishing themselves.
In November 1998, they released their first EP as Doves - Cedar EP. A second, Sea EP, followed in May 1999. Just days before its release, Rob Gretton, who had been an early funder and supporter of both bands (as well as being manager to Joy Division and New Order), died of a heart attack at the age of just 46.
It’s entirely fitting, then, that the third track on the EP should be a rumbling brooding menace, full of low-slung bass notes and cold alienation. Even the shuffling drum pattern sounds like a veiled threat. Bad snow freeze my throat and numbs my soul, begins Goodwin, and he ain’t lightening up much between then and the song’s end.