After touring with the War on Drugs and sharing the stage with the likes of Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, Caveman began to gather critic’s attention and largely favorable press for their live performances in 2011. Coco Beware, the first release of the Brooklyn-based band, found its home in many critics houses in November of last year, but March 27 it will be finally making its major debut on the Fat Possum record label.
To describe Caveman’s unique blend of shoegaze, indie-pop, and melancholy primal beats, is often to describe something that in words becomes ambiguous and potentially boring. The beats are minimalistic caveman marches; the synth drones on in one or three note chords through the melodies, and the chord progressions are distant and cavernous with disinterested vocals. The band does very little to try and earn an audience and does even less to create an image. Outside of an extended, well-practiced jam session, the album doesn’t seem like it could be anything at all, and yet it is compulsively listenable.
The opening track, “A Countries King of Dreams,” is an entrance into the ethereal and absurd. The primal drums and quickly oscillating base fuse to create an infectious foundation for the catchy, depressed Beach Boy vocals. “Old Friend” is a Band of Horses inspired number, and “Easy Water” drifts languidly and could easily crawl out of your head during a watery nightmare. The final track, “My Room,” is almost the opposite sentiment peppered with deeply anti-social lyrics from singer/songwriter Matthew Iwanusa, “I don’t like children / I don’t like people to come to my room / I don’t like silence / I don’t like people / their own lines… / to come between us.” They paint a picture of an individual as starkly stoic and cut-off from society as the music is from its audience.
The success of the album Coco Beware is largely due to its detached reverb world being immediately recognizable to anyone disenchanted with ten word Twitter connections and cell phone circles of teens sitting together but completely in different worlds. Both by capturing 20-something post-modern alienation and simple, truthful, uncompromising communication through music, Caveman make something both a joy to hear and simultaneously a pain to dismiss as anything else but a well-thought out complaint against our world.