Cave In - Tides of Tomorrow (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Cave In

Tides of Tomorrow (2002)

Hydra Head

Cave In is an incredibly talented quartet of Boston musicians, capable of mixing atmospheric guitar techniques and sounds with the simplicity of a catchy pop song. The band's technical skill can hardly be debated - every person who hears this band can probably say, regardless whether they like the music or not, that the band definitely has chops. Singer Stephen Brodsky's voice has come a long way since the band's metal days - his range is phenomenonal, and his style is very clean and strong. The bass and drums on this EP pound away at each other, while still keeping reigns on the complex song structures the band employs. The guitars of Brodsky and Adam McGrath duel back and forth in guitar solos like two rattlesnakes in battle, each looking for the right moment to strike. The band is, if nothing else, incredibly tight.

The only problem is, there's just a lack of interest on my part in these songs. And that's a pretty big problem. To those who have not followed Cave In's career, the band started off as an insane metal band, and recorded one proper album and a bunch of 7"s with that style. Then the band "evolved" into their current entity with the "Creative Eclipses" EP, and completed their metamorphosis with their "Jupiter" LP. Now, I love the old Cave In, but the new stuff has grown on me too [but not to the extent as the old material].

My complaint about this EP, though, is that it fails where the band's last two proper releases succeeded - there's no emotion. On "Jupiter" and "Creative Eclipses," you could tell the band was wrestling with it's sound, and they weren't sure what to do. But they stuck to their guns, made the music they wanted to make, and made themselves happy. Songs like "Jupiter" and "Big Riff" get to me every time I hear them, because I can just feel the intensity the band played them with. On this EP, it just feels flat.

"Come Into Your Own" is a good opener, with soaring vocals by Brodsky as well as a driving tribal drum sound from drummer John-Robert Conners. "The Calypso" is a Hum-esque waltz through various guitar effects that succeeds to an extent, winning the award for second best track on the EP. The most exciting song out of the six is a cover of "The Callus" by the now-defunct Giant's Chair [best known for their contribution to Tree's Postmarked Stamps 7" collection] - it's kind of sad when the song that makes my ears perk up the most isn't actually *by* the band in question. Tracks like "Everest" and "Tides Of Tomorrow" seem to be too slow for their own good, though and both drudge along past the five minute mark.

The EP musically is solid as anything out there today. Like I said before, my only big complaint is the lack of effort that I believe is displayed on these songs. This is a mediocre effort from a band I know can do better, and I hope they're saving it up for their RCA debut next year. We'll all just have to wait and see.

The Calypso