Caravels - Caravels [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Caravels

Caravels: Caravels [7-inch]

Caravels [7-inch] (2011)

Topshelf


4
Caravels' 2010 EP, Floorboards, was an incredibly promising–albeit dense as hell–release that finally started to garner the band some well-deserved attention. With this followup 7" single and debut for the continually excellent Topshelf Records, the band is really proving all that mettle...

Caravels' 2010 EP, Floorboards, was an incredibly promising–albeit dense as hell–release that finally started to garner the band some well-deserved attention. With this followup 7" single and debut for the continually excellent Topshelf Records, the band is really proving all that mettle of hype is worth something.

This self-titled 7" offers two indelibly emotional and intricate songs that, while allowing Caravels to be pinned down by the modern screamo sphere as much as ever, also push them to the forefront of such a movement. Sure, the similarities to those peers can be a bit heavy–"Dream Beaver" opens with bouncy, optimistic chords akin to Comadre's "King Jeremy", while post-rock tones in "Girth Impression" recall Envy's recent work and its heartwrenching, finishing start-stops sound like something off of Pianos Become the Teeth's Old Pride.

While those bands give you a good idea of the band's sound and scope, in between is eight minutes of rather stunning, dynamic and unpredicatable turns that are all Caravels', from the circling guitar lines and octaves suddenly dangled by "Dream Beaver" after a slightly more spazzy first phase, to the repetitive hook gushing in all corners of "Girth Impression" ("It was a mess but it was ours. / It wasn't emptiness. / It was a mess but it was ours, / it was ours to fix."). It's an almost constant, stunning anxiety propelled by murmured guitar intricacies, twinkles and overall brilliant layering while Mike Roeslein's afflicted shout jumps just above the edges. There's a gripping, subtle melodicism and control to how these tracks flow, and never once it does it lose one's attention.

Caravels more or less nail it on this 7". While the idea of a new "screamo revival" is pretty debatable (maybe there just wasn't a built-in webzine infrastructure so willing to extensively cover bands like City of Caterpillar and Portraits of Past a decade ago?), Caravels is championing the newest breed quite finely.

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Caravels - Caravels EP by Alter The Press