Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered and mastered by Sam Patlove
It only takes a few seconds into any Caveman song and you're certain that they couldn't ever possibly live up to their name. It's without any mindless grunts or smashes, thumps or senseless reasoning that the inevitably, soon-to-be heralded and received Brooklyn, New York, band works. The music pulses with complicated interactions between all five members of the band (Matthew Iwanusa, Jimmy Carbonetti, Stefan Marolachakis, Sam Hopkins and Jeff Berrall), which features members of The Subjects and The End Of The World, giving it an evolved and thick warmth that goes above and beyond the call of duty. They've steeped their collection of debut songs in massive amounts of reverb - though not that kind that makes a person strain to make anything out of the abyss - multi-part harmonies and themes of self-assure love and friendship.
The characters that lead singer Iwanusa writes and sings seem to be kind and sensible men, the sorts who would be on a short list that you'd make up as those you could call on if in need at any hour of the day and they would be in their cars seconds later, groggily, but faithfully coming to your rescue. They register with us, immediately, as songs that are drifting out of these guys, lurking around in the passing shadows, soaking up the timid sensations, the lukewarm, but agitated air, the recoiling fear of the immensity of emotion and the devoted fellowship that human beings are capable of extending, surprisingly and effortlessly when they have to, with fully beating hearts ready to embrace us. They are songs written from the point of view of men who have never expected a goddamn thing and yet feel as if they have nothing that they could complain about. They are happy for and proud of their friends. They're thankful that such meaningful friendship is shared with them, spared them, when they may have been something less than perfect. Who isn't though?
There is a lot of this sensibility in the smoky waves that Caveman builds up, this overwhelming humbleness and something that seems like an awe for the beauty of all the people they've surrounded themselves with. It seems to all repay them. The songs here, which we assume will help to make up a debut album at some point this year, have the meatiness of arena rock anthems a la the kinds that their buddies Spoon and The Walkmen have a history of making, but there's more that they summon from dark and light places alike that give them a sound that's remarkably distinct and unable to be placed. It's somewhere between "All These Things That I've Done" soulfulness of The Killers via the "Hot Fuss" days and the glorious wooziness of My Morning Jacket, giving us something that aligns with our hearts and our middles, where the emotions take over and make us feel love and want to give love. Iwanusa sings, "Thanks for those feelings" at one point and we think, "Right back at you."