Cave People - Older (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Cave People

Older (2014)


Press for Philly-by-way-of-Scranton, Pennsylvania's Cave People--essentially a moniker for singer-songwriter David Tomaine--notes they share a scene with blooming contemporary punk/indie rock acts like the Menzingers, Tigers Jaw, Captain We're Sinking, Kite Party, Three Man Cannon and others. Of course, there's an inherent diversity among those bands but also plenty of common threads that tie them together: punk subgenres toyed and skewed with; vocals yelped just a little out of key; and emotions often worn out. In this sense, Cave People fits, though their EP here, Older, certainly has a vibe all its own.

Older arrives almost totally fully-formed. It's a slightly sad menagerie of modern emo, slacker-minding indie rock and a touch of Neutral Milk Hotel-type folk (the beginning of "Burnin'" vaguely reminds me of "[untitled]", actually) with an accidentally wistful, Counting Crows-esque quality at times (scope "Lather") that casts mopey emotional deference over the whole thing. And it's quite good. Like its title implies, Tomaine struggles with the concept of maturity throughout the five tidy tracks on Older, often seeming to reference acts of impulse and aggravation that might hinder that growth; or maybe help it; or is maybe just neutral to the process. But he definitely seems to have those moments, and it's interesting to wonder how he'd use the space of a full-length to sort out these feelings and concepts.

For now, Older is a very enjoyable "proper" debut EP of sorts that's also far more a full-band production than Tomaine's earlier, lower-fi sketches, presenting a first real step for something great likely to come.