The Cave Singers – Naomi
While I love a good folksy record on the softer side, sometimes it is nice to have some variation in your audio repertoire, and Pete Quirks grungy vocals will sure do the trick. Step aside mellow folk bands, The Cave Singers have a new release to rock the delicate harmonies right out of you.
Though, Naomi isn’t really a record that falls into the easy categorization of a single genre, but rather one that falls into many. While its pandering guitar lines gently nudge you to believe it’s a folk record, the hillbilly vocals of Quirks push you towards the raw edge of rock. For example, the first track, “Canopy,” is one of those tracks that really just fits in with The Cave Singers classic sound of folk. A seemingly gentle, yet pervasively intriguing riff welcomes you to the album, but the rawness of the vocals gives an edgier touch to the folk tune. The riff continues through this opening number, feeling as though The Cave Singers are picking up right from where they left off on 2011’s No Witch. Towards the end of the song you get this great little break down that makes you yearn to see this song in the live setting.
“Have to Pretend,” the song immediately to follow, shows the rocking side of The Cave Singers. Pete Quirks spits his lyrics at you as if some moody and broody rock star front man who takes control of the stage rather than a bearded folk man plucking away at his guitar. Some gang vocal variation between sharp and soft “oohs,” keep things interesting as Quirks continues on his lyrical monologue. It’s a great track, and in my opinion one of the stronger tracks that The Cave Singers have on this album.
There are certainly other gems to be found on Naomi, especially later on with “Easy Way,” in which the percussion, which is never that prominent in the mix for this group begins to stand out through the utilization of cymbals in the chorus. It’s also pretty hard to miss “Evergreens,” a soft number in the middle of things that strips this group down to bass, guitar, and vocals—a nice step back from the constant movement this collection of songs seems to possess.
Though some long time fans may wish for a little more variety in sound on this album, if this happened to be your first exposure to The Cave Singers, it would not be a bad thing at all. This band keeps putting out albums that continue to hold true to their base sound and yet move away slightly in the ways that you want it to.