Band of the Day

2012.01.15

Caveman

Spacious orchestral indie rock layered with harmonies
On an ocean, 'cause I would like to be one. Decide on me. You try you'll see.
lyrics from Decide

Caveman is a five-piece indie rock band based out of Brooklyn, New York. The band first began playing together in early 2010, and has already established considerable buzz for themselves with their grandiose, atmospheric rock sound. Recalling other orchestral rock bands like Grizzly Bear, Caveman use a considerable amount of effects in their music, and create a propulsive sound through using two drummers simultaneously. Four out of the band's five members sing, creating rich vocal harmonies. Guitarist Jimmy Carbonetti is also well known as the owner of Cobra Guitar's in Manhattan's East Village, a well-regarded shop that manufactures custom made guitars. The band released their debut album Coco Beware in September, 2011. They have toured with bands including The War on Drugs, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and Here We Go Magic.

With a name like Caveman, you might expect a punk or garage rock band, a bunch of guys exercising their primal selves. Brooklyn's Caveman do tap into some primal intensity (they have two drummers!), but their sophisticated, grandiose sound would be more at home in a cavernous library than a dank cave. Formed in early 2010, Caveman draws from the same atmospheric, harmony-driven mold as bands like Grizzly Bear. Lead singer Matthew Iwanusa's vocals are clear and bold, but the rest of the music is beautifully murky, guitars are dipped in a range of effects and hazy synths floating in the background. Having already toured with bands like The War on Drugs and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Caveman released their debut album Coco Beware in September, 2011. The album mixes instrumentally driven tracks that sparkle like phosphorescence in an underground lake, to majestic soundscapes layered with delicate vocal harmonies and dense instrumentation. “Old Friend” is closer to the latter, with its murky wall of organ and spacious lead guitar brightening the moody expanse with some country twang. The chorus seems to rush in on a river of ooh and aahs like a ghostly version of the Beach Boys and then get carried away by Iwanusa's impassioned lead vocals and the charging guitars and organ. Singing over rollicking drum beat and jangly guitar on “Decide,” Iwanusa's beautifully unsettled vocals give you the impression that things are slightly amiss, and the melodies are so arresting and slip into the music so perfectly it plunges you right into his world. Much of Coco Beware has a supernatural tinge to it, like Caveman has created their own uncanny universe where the pop songs all have a dark gloss, and how could it be any other way? Let yourself be sucked into their wold, Caveman has succeeded in creating a strikingly cohesive album that deserves to be listened to from beginning to end.