Record label: Fat Possum
A band name like Caveman makes me think of a pub rock band, the sort of knuckle dragging group
only appreciated by beer swelling football hooligans. It’s with a pleasant surprise that this Brooklyn based quintet has nothing Neolithic about them whatsoever. The expected meat and potatoes rock is actually replaced by chilled harmonies and subtle swathes of feedback.
The New Yorker’s debut record, ‘Coco Beware’ melds together anti-folk rhythms with lethargic tribal
drumming. On the first listen, ‘Coco Beware’ sounds like The Dodos but as if they are performing at
4am and a little stoned.
The somber tones of Coco Beware create a kind of dream like state, almost like the band are intent
on soundtracking the witching hour. There are moments throughout the record where Caveman
sound glacial and restrained, but equally, feedback and those urgent drums break through to create a
broader spectrum of sound.
‘Vampire’ is a track which encapsulates the essence of Coco Beware. It’s daubed with spectral waves
of feedback and noise, while an urgent, direct drum beat keeps a rigid hold on proceedings. As the
track builds through its short two minute and forty second life span, it descends into a crescendo of
static, that beautifully segue-ways into ‘Old Friend’. This track injects a canvas of synth that helps
emphasize the aforementioned concoction of noise that makes up Caveman’s sonic template while
showcasing the soothing voice of Matthew Iwanusa.
Coco Beware may have been created by a band that has a Neanderthal association, but there is
certainly nothing Stone Age about Caveman.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams