Sunday, January 01, 2006


This newly founded blog will be a place for me to ramble and review Cds and records that I acquire. Most of the time Ill be posting reviews for things I already have, and that I like, but I will try to post a variety of styles and such to keep it broad, and not to create an illusion that I like everything I listen to. First up: Cave In!

Cave In - Perfect Pitch Black - Hydra Head Records

Cave In's newest release Perfect Pitch Black sees them returning to their Hydra Head records home after the tribulations of a one album run with major label RCA. Antenna, the bands previous offering through said label was an industry "flop", and supporting tours saw Cave In sharing the stage with acts such as Muse, which may come as a surprise to fans who have followed this band since their blistering hardcore debut "Until Your Heart Stops" After close to two years of touring, the guys decided to part ways with RCA, and found comfort back home with Hydra Head Records.

This album sees somewhat of a "return to form" for Cave In, embracing its own hardcore roots while fusing it with its clever indie songwriting ability of newer albums such as Jupiter and Tides Of Tomorrow. The most obvious change is the return of screaming in this album, courtesy of Caleb Scofield. This element is brought back into the fold, but not without some hesitation as can be expected. This album hits hard right off the bat, but the last few tracks sort of just lack the forward motion of the first part of the album. This is partly due to the fact that the first half of this album is noticeably more "scream-heavy" than the latter.

Cave In have drifted towards longer songs once again, which is a welcome change. Most of the songs on this album clock in around four to five minutes, with the exception of the 7 minute "Paranormal" This gives the group time to establish a groove, and to explore all aspects of that groove, embellishing it at times with guitar harmonies, churning bass lines, occasional electronics, and very nice riff variation. The interplay between the two guitars and bass on this album is stellar, especially during the sixteenth-note triplet lick in "Trepanning".

This album was recorded in a number of different studios over an extended period of time, but the mixing and mastering was done so well that I personally cannot tell. The bass tone is one of the high points of the production for me; it is almost abrasive, while maintaining tone, and it cuts through the mix perfectly. The guitar tones match very well, and effects are put to good use throughout the album, with tasteful embellishments that never go too far.

The danger Cave In faced with making this album was facing criticism that they were backtracking, trying to gain back old fans by a return to older-styled material, and thus selling out even worse than when they singed to RCA. On the contrary, I think this is the album Cave In had to make if it was going to keep on making music. All the guys were obviously out of gas and ready to do things differently, and this is made evident by the awesome liner notes included with the album. This is the only album Cave In could make, or else they would have broken up.



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