There is a softness to the indie rock here. It flows like water, breaking and diverging but with a definite smoothness. The sweeping melodies are surprisingly upbeat despite the sluggish tempos Cave In seem stuck in with this newest release. That might not be such a bad thing if you haven’t heard earlier Cave In. This band used to get labeled with a progressive-hardcore tag. But the only thing that’s been progressing is the bands strides to turn themselves into pale version of a radio-ready indie rock band. I had just recently digested the bands previous “Tides of Tomorrow” and I’m not sure what happened when the band jumped from indie Hydrahead to major RCA. Gone are all the chance taking structures and addition of subversive electronic sprinklings. The only element that seems consistent with previous works is drummer John-Robert Conners ability to craft drum lines that roll and stumble most poetically.
The mediocrity here is disappointing. The band is so talented it’s obvious, but their Radiohead is showing much to often. Stephen Brodsky has a voice that could find it’s way unto a million radio stations, and it’s almost as if the band decided to streamline themselves to match and now it’s passion is subdued (except in Brodsky’s voice which is still commanding, and at times with his high voice, sounds like Mansun’s singer… a definite compliment). And you cannot spice up acoustic wankery with layers of distorted guitar in the background, because all you get is a noisy acoustic song (“Beautiful Son”).
It if weren’t for the drumming to keep the interest there (“Rubber and Glue” – one of the best most progressive tracks here), this newest Cave In would be a dismal display of a great band, creating music that falls short of their ability. There’s enough moody display within the music to make this worthy, but I wonder if I’m the only Cave In fan who is wondering why their “Antenna” seems bent.