In case you don’t know your Greek mythology, Pan was a great seducer. He once beckoned the moon goddess Selene down from the heavens into a dark forest where seduced her and gave her an oxen yoke as a gift. A number of his objects of his affections turned themselves into flora to escape his advances. In the most famous story, Syrinx was transformed into a patch of reeds to hide from the lascivious Pan. Never one for giving up, Pan cut the reeds and fashioned, yup, the world’s first pan flute. Pan also had Echo killed by his followers and had her mutilated body spread across the world because she dared rebuff him. Needless to say, Pan was a sexually deviant sociopath.
Mercifully, Cold Cave’s latest single, ”The Great Pan is Dead,” channels its inner Pan by recasting the part a bit. Instead of being an sex-starved cloven-hoofed goat, Wesley Eisold makes him burn as bright as a lovesick supernova of yearning: ”I will come running, gunning through the years.” While their debut was a decadent feast of sleazy synth lines and moaning goth-lite vocals, “The Great Pan is Dead” barrels ahead with all the ferocious steam of a love-induced nervous breakdown. And in the process of collapse, the band generates an almost indistinguishable wall of noise: a monstrously pummeling beat accompanies an achingly enflamed guitar while it chases a celestial synth washes around the mix.