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Cavemen!!: Way Down in the Basement

Cavemen!!: Way Down in the Basement

Release Date:2010
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By Michael Byrne | Posted 1/20/2010

In which Jon Spencer does vocals over one or another of the ambient-IDM Ghost International monikers--with a synth pipe organ fed into the mix for good measure. That's the sound, anyway, of the surprisingly well-produced nonsense courtesy of MT6 duo CAVEMEN!, alarmingly one of the least cave-ready outfits on said label's roster. But regardless, fear not, the underlying aesthetic is still "beer." What's happening here still isn't all that fully formed, feeling rather more like dudes shitting around until everything comes together long enough for four songs. And it's difficult to explain exactly why that's not a dis--something to do with the spirit of the thing matching with the result, and it actually being enjoyable--but it's really not. To put another way, CAVEMEN! would probably be considerably more enjoyable to see live than, say, Excepter--which is the band's closest analog at the popular table in the ol' underground-music lunchroom. But, as one of the CAVEMEN! declares through a cave-echo over tripped-out space synths and an uneven electronic heartbeat, "This game is fixed." The best song of the four on here is called "Fashion of Life" and MT6 frontman and Caveman Alex Strama's daughter does the alien-ghost intro vocals--and someone comes in with an extra-dimensional "This fashion of life can only go down." This Basement is strange and uncertain and, in a musical realm that so often reduces into a superficial battle to determine who can be the strangest and most uncertain, it's comforting to hear it come so naturally.

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