Saturday, May 23, 2009

Instore! Today! Cave!

That's right, today Saturday May 23rd (though it seems like tomorrow as I type this, since it's 1:25 am) we're having AQ faves CAVE play a special, slightly less loud than usual for them, improvised set. At 6pm, so if you're not already down here shopping, skip out on whatever Memorial Day weekend stuff you've got going on and c'mon down to see 'em. They played Friday night, moments ago really, at the Hemlock with Mammatus and Prizehog, wish we coulda gone but it was/is "list night" here... but at least we'll get to see 'em later today!

For those not so terribly familiar with Cave, here's our review of their sadly out of print debut LP "Hunt Like Devil" we made a Record Of The Week sometime last year:
At first glance, it might be difficult to know what this record is all about. The sleeve is just a photo of trees and leaves, a dense overgrown forest. Pull out the cd, that too is cryptic, just some random letters on the disc, the sleeve, an old crinkled photo from some seventies porn mag of a topless cowgirl with a gun in her mouth. There's an insert, with a bunch of strange shapes, the word CAVE right at the top. But we know what it is. We've been waiting for this disc for ages. The debut recording from, wait for it... CAVE! Who just so happen to be the spacerock krautrock dronerock riff heavy jam band side project of one Warhammer 48K, who were already spacey and krauty and droney to begin with, so needless to say this is some seriously kick ass, aQ freakout worthy shit.
For the attention span impaired, howabout some Hawkwind, Can, Circle, Lightning Bolt, Pharaoh Overlord? Sounds good huh? Well, it's easy to hear bits and pieces of all of those bands in the sound of Cave, a dual drummer-ed riff heavy psych rock, that takes single riffs and hammers at them, pounding and pummeling, repetitive and mesmerizing, a sort of kraut flecked hypnorock, but with all sorts of strange twists and turns, bizarre arrangements, baffling breakdowns, but woven into longform jams that should have anyone into the above mentioned bands frothing at the mouth.
The opening track is a gorgeous little tangle of minor key melodies, looped and repeated, over a tense distant drone, thick swaths of keyboard whir over soft tangles of acoustic guitar and space-y backwards guitar swoops, but then the opening riff of the second track kicks in, and it's all fuzzy and feral, the greatest riff Pharoah Overlord never wrote, and they just hang on it, way longer than any normal band would, FOREVER, before the drums kick in, and they're off, a relentless and hooky groove, with brief blasts of super dynamic chaos, before slipping right back into it. Keyboards lay still more hypnotic melodies over the top, vocals, when there are any, are shouted way down in the mix, or are wordless falsetto la-la-la's, adding more texture and sonic complexity than anything. The dual drummers mix it up spitting out occasional tribal squalls, sometimes thick swirls of staticky fuzz wash over the proceedings, but their propulsive fortitude never falters. The first two tracks would almost be enough. Nearly 12 minutes of heavy freaked out space jam nirvana. You can practically feel the walls heaving and the sweat dripping through the speakers. You'll probably need a lie down afterwards. But there's no time, cuz hell, there's 6 more tracks to dig through. The sound is punk rock, lo-fi, but lush and epic, damaged and delirious, like garage rockers raised on Magma and Faust, there's plenty of Neu! in there, Stereolab too then, but it's way heavier than that, the guitars crunchy and thick, occasionally opening up into wailing psychrock blowouts, the drums getting more and more distorted and frenzied. Imagine an amphetamine fueled Circle or Can, but via the basement, the sound a sweat soaked drug drenched mostly instrumental kraut groove
Mathy, murky, like the fucked up younger brother of Yes, a Neanderthal krautrock, laced with awesome grinding space rock riffage, blown out squalls of ur-psych, flurries of percussive splatter, chanting cult vocals, bits of what the fuck vocoder (!), but for all the weirdness, the core sound of Cave is THE RIFF. Whether it's a warbly synth, or a superdistorted guitar, or tra-la-la vocals, they all align themselves with that riff, the mission, to entrance, to ensorcel, a heaving, pulsing, throbbing mass, the sound magnetic and irresistible. Endless jams that aren't really, but feel like they should be. Like they are anyway. Transcending the laws of time and space, dragging us kicking and screaming, bouncing and bobbing, into some blissed out basement at the end of the universe, where we subsist of nothing but riffs, drums and FX. We never want to leave.
And btw they have a brand NEW album coming out super soon, called "Psychic Psummer", that is THE JAM, likely to be another Record Of The Week on an immediately upcoming AQ-list. Heck maybe they'll have some with 'em.

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