Before The World
A very dubious concept involving good and evil frogs alongside the caveman himself surrounds this album, an instrumental affair where the music is far better than the liner notes indicate. Somewhat reminiscent of Mezzoforte out on an eco-mission, Caveman consists of five technically superior fusion instrumentalists (all in tribal war paint on the accompanying press photo) that blend their sprawling jazz with some vaguely defined shaman ideology. There are a couple of truly impressive numbers here, notably the vocal-enhanced dub of “New Son” and the fine jazz rock of “The Dragon,” both offering great examples of the band’s willingness to step back and focus on coherency rather than individual exposure. Far less intriguing are the tracks on which they try to branch out into the other side of crossover-territory, such as on the horrible blues pastiche “Delta Caveman” and the Casio-inspired bossanova of “National Anthem For A Happy Nation.” These, however, are the odd ones out on an album that repeatedly surprises the listener by taking unsuspected turns and pulling it off. Bitches Brew this is not, but Before The World certainly presents Caveman as an intriguing fusion jam band, way above the average.