Stoned Listening: Coco Beware, by Caveman


Listen to this while high: Caveman's Coco Beware.

caveman coco beware.jpg

Behind the buzz: Caveman is a NYC quintet that routinely receives the kind of volunteer love a lot of publicists would gladly eat their own lips to get. Such lashings of bloggerly acclaim lead to wonder if this debut album is one of those incipient national breakouts of the kind that defines a generation, yada. If so, and mindful I could be hearing this shit burst out of P.A. speakers for the rest of my natural span, I approach this one weedpipe and caution well in hand.

Today's dope: Sour O.G., a sativa with 18 percent THC content, making it the MJ equivalent of potato vodka.

Knuckledrag Chic: As the title indicates, it's pretty easy to slip into reverie listening to the "A Country's King of Dreams" opener, but it's quite an active reverie. Far from being yet another crudely effective, if lumbering, example of Classic Rock 2.0, this is actually quite a sophisticated stab at Prog 3.1, as the band first sets up then demolishes an elegant Byrdsian song structure for the thrill-crazed punk hell of it. "Decide" extends the mood, wandering onto Michael Nesmith cow-pop prairie. "My Time" passes inoffensively, and the funereal noodling of "Vampirer" is creepy in a way Bobby "Boris" Pickett isn't. "Old Friend" dissipates the mood with a few high lonesome gusts of sentimentality, resolving itself into something like Jeff Tweedy doing Perry Como before crackling out. "Great Life" is fine, moody stuff and a real showcase for Caveman's chipper, chirpy harmonies. "Dec. 28th" wafts by like a gentle noise pop dream, bringing to mind similarly zephyrous Paul McCartney album tracks like "Big Barn Red." "Easy Water" is a slick U-turn in a Swervedriver-shoegazey direction, with the lyrics reinforcing a sense of reverie and irreality. "Thankful" is an Olympian sigh, and "My Room" closes the door on this worthy debut with a gentle and gloomy click.

Psychotropic verdict: About fifty-fifty filler and Instant Classics that may or may not click with a meaningful segment of a distracted public. If they're still doing decade-comp box sets in 2033, expect to see "A Country's King of Dreams" among the track listings.

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