Cave

Cave

Cave

Psychic Psummer

Important

Cave’s version of heavy psychedelic rock revolves around the concept that less can be infinitely more if the distortion and volume levels both peak out. This minimal-maximalist approach is understandably hit-or-miss on Psychic Psummer: the opener “Gamm” has the bludgeoning thunder and four-color rainbow of the best of noodley, instrumental acid rock. It’s repetitive, propulsive, but still very formless and whips through its six-plus minute run time on its inertia alone. The similarly-sized “Encino Men” doesn’t fare as well. Too quickly it gets mired in cheesy dubbed-out vocals and ironic synth textures and is only salvaged by the Stereolab-esque groove it eventually falls into in its last minutes.

“Machines and Muscles,” perhaps the best song on the disc, sounds something like a wordless J-pop cover of a Modern Lovers song. Its sprightliness and lack of affectation are a nice, enjoyable counterpoint to the band’s more ponderous tendencies.

It’s far from a definitive statement of its genre, but Psychic Psummer is fired by more lucid synapses than some of its contemporaries and that bodes well for future Cave releases.

Important Records: www.importantrecords.com

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