Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Biggest. Riff. Ever.

Come back, Cave In. You are missed.

While I love the amount of Cave In-related projects that have surfaced in the past year and a-half (Octave Museum, Clouds, New Idea Society, the upcoming Pet Genius and the sonically brutal Zozobra), it's just not Cave In. Zozobra comes pretty damn close though. Thank you very much Mr. Scofield.

Basically, Cave In invented (or helped to move forward) the genre that is now metalcore. Just as emo used to be a desription of emotional hardcore-type bands like Far and Fireside, metalcore was once a good term, used to name drop bands that killed it, like Zao, Earth Crisis, All Out War and Cave In.

Then 1999 happened. All of a sudden it was as if the dudes in Cave In discovered Failure, covered "Magnified" dead on and rewrote the book on how to transform into a new band altogether. Jupiter is the ultimate shoegazer record (think the best parts of Failure, Hum and Shiner) and was such a huge statement at the time. It brought a ton of attention to young upstart label, HydraHead. It also weeded out the meatheads at shows. It's an inteligent record that catapulted the band to Indie crown status and gained the attention of RCA records, who signed the band for their 2003 release, Antenna.

The dudes caught a ton of slack for the mainstream appeal of this LP, but I just don't see it that way. Selling 35K records isn't selling out at all. They got to tour the world with Muse and the Foo Fighters and put out a gret album. With Jupiter being such a defining snapshot of the band and Tides of Tomorrow (2002 EP) being such a great transitional piece between records, Antenna had much to live up to.

Fast-forward to 2005. Band makes batch of new demos. Label hates demos. Band hates label. Label lets band keep demos and all monies used to record them. Coolness ensues. Perfect Pitch Black is a fucking wrecking ball of an album and the best possible way to put Cave In on indefinite hiatus. Think Zeppelin meets Failure meets The Beatles meets old Cave In meets new Cave In. Every sound they ever treaded ground over is covered here. "Off To Ruin" and "Trepanning" are simply some of their best works. Stephen steps up his soaring vocals and Caleb lets out the bowel-shaking growls that he's become synonomous with for his work in Old Man Gloom. This record was basically a set of leaked internet demos and some b-sides which just happened to crush as a solid full-length.

With a huge tour to follow with the Doomriders, Cave In released a tour-only Cassingle (hey dudes, it's your $$$) of two new tracks with Ben Kohller (Converge) on drums, "Dead Already" and "Shapeshifter". Some of their heaviest stuff, recorded live in one take each.

So while I'm looking forward to the new Pet Genius (Stephen Brodsky) and another slab of awesome from Zozobra (Caleb Scofield), what I really want/need is some Cave In.

I'll enjoy this for now. "Big Riff", live 2004. HUGE...

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