RingMaster Review: The Cavemen "The Cavemen"
With a name like The Cavemen, you instantly give a suggestion of sound and character before a note is flung at ears. Thoughts imagine something raw and primal; a sound stripped to the bone with no concern for niceties and that is exactly what you get in the New Zealander’s self-titled debut album. The Cavemen creates attitude driven garage punk ‘n’ roll which simply stirs up the punk inside and twists it into songs which are as addictively contagious as they are belligerently mischievous.
Formed by a quartet of high school teens, The Cavemen emerged in 2012 after spending “several years of under aged drinking and loitering around the various basements, graveyards and parking lots of their home city.” With their dirty and intrusive sound honed to the virulently imposing height found on the new release, the quartet of vocalist Paul Caveman, guitarist Jack Caveman, bassist Nick Caveman, and drummer Jake Caveman soon began stirring up their homeland’s live scene. That success though was soon facing obstacles which led to the band to looking at moving over to the UK, Paul explaining with the thought, “No bar will have us, no station will play us… We might as well bugger off to the other side of the world.” So now London based, The Cavemen has linked up with Dirty Water Records for the global release of their debut full-length, an album having already ignited eager appetites with its previous limited vinyl release via 1:12 Records.
Think The Cramps and The Stooges meets The Damned, in their early days, and The Ramones and you get a clue to the incitement leaping out from the album’s opener alone. Mentally Ill swiftly has ears and appetite gripped with its brawling lo-fi devilment; guitars and bass creating a swiftly gripping tempting as beats trespass the senses with their antagonistic swing and vocals deliver every syllable in a rabid squall of tone and attitude. Garage rock meets ’77 punk rock, the track is an attention grabbing start to the album instantly backed and eclipsed by the irritable confrontation of Fuck For Hate. Hook and grooves entangle as the song stirs up ear and spirit; vocals egging on the track’s rebellion and discontent as it worms under the skin.
cavemen front sleeve_RingMasterReviewIt too is then over shadowed a touch by the outstanding Stand By Your Ghoul. Straight away the collusion of guitar and bass hooks has lips being licked, then smiling broadly as Hamond-esque keys dance devilishly on the imagination within another handful of tempting seconds. The prime bait reminds of seventies band The Piranhas, or more specifically their single Jilly whilst the bare boned roar of the track manages to come over as something between The Dirtbombs and The Horrors in their early days.
The album’s punk driven rock ‘n’ roll continues to seriously involve and excite body and spirit as the fifty scowling seconds of Scumbag leads to the minute and a half invasive seduction of Rides With The Reich. Barely a track goes by without escaping the two minute mark, a short sharp riot approach which does not stop songs like this also uncaging the most contagious of hooks and swaggers within senses bracing tempests of multi-faceted punk rock.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Retard bristles and romps next; wearing its old school punk nature as sonic belligerence before At The Pub barges in with its gang mentality punk ‘n’ roll. Again there is little resistance from feet and vocal chords as participation to yet another song from The Cavemen is inescapable; a submission given time and time again to its persuasion and to brawls like Fucked In The Head and Drink Driving. Again that garage rock flavouring creates great flames of eventful contrasts in the creative truculence stirring up ears, the second of this pair managing to find an oi! like challenge to get even greedier over too.
The limb throwing swagger of School Sucks offers a fractious anthem next whilst Crimes Tonight squeezes some power pop revelry into its sixties/seventies infested rock ‘n’ roll; a fusion of flavours casting something that is The Sonics meets The Saints like. Both tracks, it goes without saying by this point in the album, has the body bouncing and emotions defiant, the latter aspect even more so with the dirty Motorhead tinged rock ‘n’ roll of Glass Breakfast.
The album closes with the irresistible furnace of Trash Talkin’ Paint Huffin’ Girl, a final fevered stomp of incendiary punk and rock devilry as raw and primitive as it is ferociously galvanic. It is a rigorously boiling end to a thrilling blaze of rapacious rock ‘n’ roll from a band which sparks a new flame, song by song, in the bushfire of pleasure which runs through album and its thorough enjoyment.
Time to free the primitive in us all with The Cavemen!