Caveman – CoCo Beware [Album Review]

by Woody on November 23, 2011

Anybody ever take a Xanax? I have on a couple of occasions, mostly flights. It kind of just puts you in a nice mellow mood and nothing really seems to bother you. I swear that you could saw off my thumb while someone told me I had genital herpes and I would still sit their with a shit-eating grin.

What’s that got to do with Brooklyn’s 5-piece known as Caveman? In describing one of my favorite debuts of the year, I said “… they are like Local Natives on a Xanax.” I thought it was such a genius statement and since Oz doesn’t edit my posts as much as before, I thought I would go with it.

The initial reason I dug into this album was that it bared the same name as legendary wrestler The Birdman, Koko B. Ware. The reason I stuck around was the the lazy and hazy harmonies that drift effortlessly over some unique arrangements. Much like Local Natives, Caveman uses percussion to propel the music forward. While percussion is not as prominent as on Gorilla Manor, it gives off that floating vibe that Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest puts out. Additionally, the arrangements are punctuated by excellent guitar work that is as subtle as it is fantastic.

“December 28th,” shown in the video below, is so infectious that it has slowly become one of my favorites of the year. The song is basic in its nature, as if they penned it around a campfire with an acoustic guitar and a tambo. Adding in just enough flourish and texture, it is the perfect demonstration of how not to overdo a brilliant melody.

“Old Friend” is a little bit more rocking, and I use that term loosely, than the rest of the album. On the album, it has a great lead in with the instrumental “Vampirer” with its haunting vibe. The transition into “Old Friend,” which gives off a Shins vibe, is quite special.

I was talking to a buddy of Shirk’s and mine just yesterday and got to talking music. He said he can’t stop listening to Caveman and its one of his favorites of the year. I couldn’t really argue with him there. Prepare to ride the Caveman wave, much like you did with Local Natives.

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