Arts & Events

Album released by indie band Caveman

This second, self-titled album from Brooklyn quartet Caveman continues their legacy of crashing into the music scene suddenly and without warning. Caveman surprised listeners and music critics by entering the sphere suddenly but with great power. The band, made up of Matthew Iwanusa, Jimmy Carbonetti, Stefan Marolachakis and Sam Hopkins, humbly constructed these musical works that have been generally well received by the music community.
The four men, writing and recording music in Brooklyn gained the attention of Fat Possum Records. Caveman began opening for established bands such as Edward Sharpe, Cursive and White Rabbits. Through their exciting live shows, they began to build a strong following. Their second album is now released to the eager ears of a loyal fan base.
Caveman is made up of 12 unique compositions with booming drumbeats, psychedelic guitar and instrumentals and impeccable four-part harmony. Carbonetti on lead guitar keeps up a mellow and relaxing background, reminiscent of his work on Death Cab For Cutie’s album Narrow Stairs. The muffled sounds echo seamlessly behind Iwanusa’s clear vocals, specifically in tracks “The Big Push” and “Ankles.” All of the songs immerse the listener in a sort of trance through the creative use of guitar that doesn’t waver throughout the album.
However, Caveman has been criticized for this very thing, as many music critics have pointed out that the album does not possess adequate dynamic differences, and every song occurs on the same plane of energy.
Caveman pairs a pensive sound with highly introspective lyrics, taking the listener on a daydream-like emotional journey. The first track off the album, “Strange to Suffer,” capitalizes on the dreamy effects of a four-part harmony, similar to many works by Fleet Foxes. All vocals of this short opening song—only a minute and 50 seconds in duration—capture the listener’s attention through their well executed and interesting harmonies.
This makes the transition to the next song, “In the City,” particularly captivating, as this song speaks of newfound romantic interest in the form of simply seeing someone come by and hoping that they will return. Iwanusa sings passionately that “she seemed like the one to always know,” conveying his enamor in a subdued, simple phrase. This message contrasts with the one found in the track “Where’s the Time,” in which Iwanusa and his band members convey their disillusionment with romance, as they ask repeatedly, “where’s the time to waste on someone else’s life?” which is a dark question but one that has likely echoed in the minds of almost every listener.
Although critics have come up with some complaints about the musicality of the album, it is arguable that this relatability and emotion is equally, if not more, important to the overall value of the album.
Caveman will be wrapping up their current tour at the Sasquatch! Music Festival in George, Washington on May 25. Consider adding Caveman to your music library and tour schedule for a wonderful treat.