Cave In: Heavy Pendulum (Relapse) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, July 5th, 2022  

Cave In

Heavy Pendulum

Relapse

May 24, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Cave In will never be accused of being understated or referred to as subtle. The Massachusetts post-hardcore band is a no-nonsense four-piece outfit that spends most of its time in your face, musically and thematically speaking. There is something reassuring and life-affirming about their present reunification following the death of their bassist Caleb Scofield in a car accident in 2018, and I appreciate any band continuing to play music like this in the often very post-rock world we live in, but in the end it all boils down to writing songs that can hold your interest.

On their seventh album, joined permanently by former Converge bassist Nate Newton, they cast a kind of retro spell and the songs mostly hold up well, even if the production is a tad underwhelming.

“Blood Spiller” is a good, old-fashioned dank, dark, grungy ’90s throwback that is heavy in the right sense of the term. Not heavy metal, per se, but weighty and dense. “New Reality” sports some crisp and crunchy, and rather buzzy, guitar sounds that are, dare I say, quite Helmet-esque at certain points.

There is something lurking within their music that hints at a self-effacing sarcasm. Not that they are unserious as a band, but they have perspective on how silly rock and roll can be, and how silly it’s purveyors can seem, posing and pretending. At the same time, rock and roll is able to deliver a heavy and profound message to the world even if that message is simply how to confront angst with a guitar amp for the sake of catharsis. With that in mind the 7:39 “Blinded by a Blaze” is a sort of badge song for Cave In, and it could have dominated MTV circa 1998. A solid return to form. The more things change the more some things need to stay the same. (www.cavein.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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