Caves - Caves [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)


Caves [7 inch] (2010)

Specialist Subject

Scenes have a habit, like everything else, of having peaks and troughs. The British punk scene had a number of bands signed and doing fairly well for themselves in the early part of the decade and then it all quietly imploded on itself. Snuff disappeared, Consumed and Lightyear called it a day, the legion of UK bands on Golf vanished and things started to look pretty bleak. Luckily, music has a habit of returning to its grassroots at moments like this. Over the past couple of years the UK has seen a number of scenes reignite and the UK as a whole is looking full of potential. The Southwest of England and Wales have seen the likes of the Arteries, the Cut Ups and Bangers. Caves should be a name to add to that list.

Caves are a recently formed three-piece based in Bristol, England. This 7" is their first release and comes off the back of a number of support slots and the odd mini-tour. They have quickly developed a solid and passionate live show and it's great to see that this translates well onto record.

If you are into anything vaguely .org-friendly this is worth checking out. The female-fronted vocals are direct and delivered with conviction; the guitars are thick and driving with some nice rhythmic shifts; and the drumming is solid. "Torn It Down," "Fell Apart" and "Hold On Hold On" are the mid-tempo punk numbers, whereas "New Orleans" brings the tempo and the gain back a little and is a nice dynamic shift. Right off the bat this has an obvious "three-piece punk" dynamic, but it's not like they are obviously trying to ape their influences. There's a definite Lemuria/Jawbreaker vibe here, but if you are playing straightforward melodic punk with heart-on-sleeve lyrics it's going to be difficult to sidestep these comparisons.

What stands out most on this 7" is that Caves have rapidly developed a fairly distinctive sound. Whilst keeping things succinct, there are definite melodic themes and rhythmic ideas that run through the whole EP. All the tracks are punchy, direct and instantly accessible, but the hooks keep you listening after the first couple of rotations. This is a really good start and I'm looking forward to hearing further material.

On that note there is still much more to come from Caves over the coming months: They have just got back from European dates with Bridge and Tunnel and Young Livers; there is a run of support slots coming up; a potential UK jaunt in the summer; a split 10" with Calvin Ball, Pure Graft and Big City Plan; and finally a split 7" with Wormburner. Not bad considering they've been a band for less than a year.