Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Caveman - Night Moves -- Red Palace - Apr 9 2012

Night Moves - Thankfully I did not sing a certain Bob Seeger song in my head at any time during this set, nor did this four-piece band for that matter. Instead they offered up heavily stylized vocals in the Matt Bellamy (Muse) manner along with Cure-like guitar work and a rhythm section from... I don't know, Magazine perhaps? I am hearing post-Radiohead Brit-rock with pop and psyche elements taking shape depending on the song. The crowd was slow to attend tonight starting at around 25 and building to 40 by set's end. They used a computer, often for drum beats even though they had a decent drummer. And the beats seemed to be merely a glorified click track, well not so glorified. They seemed to be experiencing some equipment troubles, but not knowing their sound, it did not seem to bad to me. It did work well when they had a bit of pace and sparkle, but a few times the music just kind of sat there. They then wanted to finish up (sounding like the equipment problem was getting to them) when the sound man reminded them they had 15 minutes. They went on to do 3 more songs to moderate applause. A little raw and naive tonight and hopefully some steady touring will sharpen things up.
Caveman - This five piece lines up with keyboards, rhythm section, guitar and a lead vocalist who alternates between a floor tom and guitar. The double drumming creates the expected kick in the music and really offsets the psychedelic swirl of the rest of the music. The keys and guitar are so spacey and locked in, that it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. As the band plays on, this effect creates a grand atmosphere that is quite mesmerizing, which is a difficult task for a band, especially without the use of a lot of electronics. And that ability is what often separates the special bands from the perfectly likable 'rest of the pack'. Caveman's sound reminds me of some of the spacier krautrock bands along with Tuxedomoon with trace elements of Ride, Caribou, and other modern alternative popsters. The Red Palace room is full now and the set is going over very well. The sound was so good, that you could see the crowd become more responsive as the 50 minutes went on. I did hear a few strong individual songs within the overall soundscape, so it is not merely a psychedelic jam event here (not that I don't enjoy those a lot). But it speaks to a capable band that could easily work on a bill with Caribou or Animal Collective or a variety of acts that have successfully pushed some classic sounds in a modern direction.  But for now, they are covering the USA in the small clubs and I advise catching them soon, as bigger clubs should be just around the corner.

Quote of the Night: From the Night Moves bass player... "I just had my first experience (eating) Spam downstairs. And now I can't stop burping."

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