Cave - Release - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Cave - Release

by Rob Taylor Rating:7.5 Release Date:2014-11-20

Emerging once again from the dense undergrowth of psych-rock comes floor-buffering quartet Cave with Release, a collection of so-called ‘singles’. These are essentially off-cuts from from different record label forays, and changes of line-up for the band from Illinois, Chicago, between the years 2007-2014.

Following up four albums of freaky space-rock with a compilation of cutting-room-floor material may seem disingenuous, but these days bands are doing it to premiere another side to their collective personalities. The relatively short compositions on Release are constructed around brief, less discursive themes, which, after all, contain the diversity of their substantive work.   

The bass is up front and centre, well positioned with the drums to provide both volume, motorik rhythm and drift, and a priority towards the low-end of the music. So all good for me. Bobby Conn, a Chicago native, who for creative reasons once referred to himself as the Anti-Christ (go figure), contributes on 'Bobby’s Hash', although if there’s fanfare attached to this collaboration, it's lost on me.

The playing is excellent, with an unwearying locomotion, and bursts of preposterous guitar freakout, revealing shades of everything from Can to Einstürzende Neubauten, Black Sabbath, slacker rock, early Bon Scott era AC/DC, and the desert rhythms of Malian band, Tinariwen. Also there’s the deadset funkiness of ‘Bobby’s Hash’, which recalls George Clinton’s Parliament.

There’s variability about the quality of the recordings, with some being lifted from VHS tapes the band favoured for mixdowns in the early days. The overall audiophile quality befits the music. Disparate but utterly captivating.

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