Caves – Get On With It

Get On With It

Caves is from modern-day Portland, Oregon, but if you didn’t know better, you’d think the members were from the UK circa 1980. Danceable and addictive, these guys might be a bit too late to ride the Rapture/Franz Ferdinand wave, but unlike those two bands, you can enjoy these guys with little guilt.

What all that means is that Get On With It is steeped heavily in the angular, melodic punk tradition of Television and Gang Of Four with a bit of U2 thrown in. They’re definitely less abrasive than those bands, but where the guitars of those bands pierced your eardrums, Caves pushes the vocals to the forefront. That’s a good thing when you have a singer like Jacob Carey, who has a soaring, new wavy voice, even if it is affected with a slight British accent.

When the guitars are on display, they don’t disappoint though. Carried by a bouncy baseline, the title track allows the guitars to wander Television style, accenting the song rather than driving it. “Optimist, Pessimist” is a similar track, although there are times where the guitars are more central here, but they stand up to the task. There’s also even more of a mid-80s new wave feel on this track and others, adding yet another wrinkle in the band’s already dynamic sound.

A single listen to Get On With It is certainly not enough to appreciate everything the album has to offer, but it is enough to tell this band has the unquantifiable “it” that drives special musicians to make special music. There’s a lot of texture and a surprise within almost every chord change, but none of it sounds tacked on or forced. When the band is on, every transition is smooth and every note sounds effortless. None of this is to say this is a perfect album (the latter third of the album definitely lags), but if the members of Caves have one in them, no one should be surprised.