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Jake Cardwell





Album review: The Caves - Duplexiaville

When last we heard from KC quartet (recently upgraded to a five-piece) The Caves, they were supporting their five-song EP called, creatively enough, Five Songs With The Caves. It’s been a minute or two since then, and their live performances have solidified their reputation as a solid, cohesive act, but as with all bands who earn favor among their listening audience, said listeners have been patiently waiting for new music—a track or two would be performed here and there, and rumors of recording sessions would swirl in hushed tones among the faithful. That wait for new music has been rewarded recently with the release of Duplexiaville, a ten-track gem.
 
By way of comparison, and to see how their new album shows the evolution of the sound of The Caves, listen to one of their most well-known songs, “Liars” (which was included as part of the excellent Golden Sound Records/The Record Machine compilation Secret Handshakes). Whereas “Liars” is a mid-to-uptempo track featuring some pretty intense lyrics (the repetition of “I don’t believe in protecting liars” is a pretty effective verbal middle finger), you’ll find nothing of that level of bubbling-under angst in Duplexiaville. Here you’ll discover a group that has grown, individually and together, and has brought that growth to the recording studio, culminating in music that is wistful and winsome. There’s no rush in the pacing of this record, as the listener is taken on a gentle tour that takes its time in reaching its destination.
 
The overall sound can primarily be slotted into one of two categories: tracks like “Empty Sails” and “Give It Away Or Lose It” are rife with the trademark harmonic dissonance of Andrew Ashby’s guitar tone, while “Two-faced Folds” and “Feeler” offer slices of hypnotic dream-pop that would seem perfectly suited for an Olympic Size collaboration. You’ll also find a couple nice little detours on your aural adventure: “The Usual”, a bonafide alt-country work of art (just add a little Mike Stover steel guitar and shake well), and the album’s closing track, “Once And Astronaut All,” a lovely little ninety-second lullaby that sends the listener off to the land of hopes and dreams on the pillowy cloud of chords and notes that bring an end to the tour of Duplexiaville.

It’s a nice place to visit … and I think I’ll do so frequently. 

--Michael Byars

Next chance you have to catch The Caves will be on Saturday, November 24 at The Brick. They'll be joined by Knife Crime and Tree.

--Michael Byars

Michael Byars currently has a pink goatee. No, it isn’t his natural hair color. No, he didn’t lose a bet. No, it has nothing to do with illicit sexual activities with Strawberry Shortcake. It’s in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month—and in recognition of his mom, who kicked cancer’s ass. Rock on, Michael’s mom!


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