ALBUM REVIEW: NeoCaveman ‘I’

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MILWAUKEE’S NEOCAVEMAN SOARS ONTO YOUR RADAR WITH IMPRESSIVE DEBUT

Only a few months in and it has already been an exciting start to 2016 for Milwaukee music.  New to Milwaukee’s scene and ready to impress, NeoCaveman’s I is nothing short of astounding.  They blend math, pop and indie rock seamlessly into five pleasing, often dream-like, tracks.  In particular, the way lead vocalist, Peter Hair constructs his angular and extended vocal rhythms takes me back to some of the finest written by Jeremy Enigk or James Mercer.

Founding member, Peter Hair, explained that the initial beginnings of the band stemmed from some early demos he shared with friends and bandmates Sam Balistreri (guitar) and Paul Tyree (drums) back in the winter of 2015.  Simon Beno (synth) offered up the band’s practice space for them to start honing in their arrangements and after some role-shuffling, Jeremy Moroder eventually returned to NeoCaveman on bass, completing their current line-up.

Each of the five tracks on the NeoCaveman debut are impressively wrought compositions that immediately show the bands strengths.  There is an underlying ability to collaborate on parts with intricate detail and share a mature sense of knowing when to scale back and be a bit more reserved.

This especially helps in songs such as ‘Times Of Feast’.  The listener is immediately surrounded by lovely polyrhythms that weave in and out of being a unified voice, giving way to showcase each member’s talents.

Paul Tyree is an absolute powerhouse on drums complementing each song and creating some of the best drum performances I’ve heard in a while.  I was also extremely impressed with Simon Beno’s synth playing being somewhat ceremonious and an important element that blends so many of I’s beautiful moments into lucid dream pop.

As previously touched upon, Peter Hair’s voice is engaging with a soothing charm sending the listener adrift to well-executed harmonies, especially on tracks like the opener, ‘Terminal’.  Hair cites the harmonies as an important signature of the band and doubled up parts on many of the tracks to give more of a ‘ghostly’ quality to the album.

The other interesting element on the debut I, is NeoCaveman’s use for an acoustic guitar as a primary instrument.  It offers a refreshing texture to the whole album that evades falling prey to common acoustic associations of folk or singer-songwriter music.

Production on NeoCaveman’s Debut is also an absolute pleasure and I would highly recommend listening to this one through headphones to get the best experience possible.  Most of the album was recorded last summer at Paul Tyree’s house.  Antone Studios in Lisbon, WI took over the final mixing and mastering duties where some additional vocal tracking was also done.  The takeaway is an organic debut that feels larger in production, rivaling any major studio.

All in all, NeoCaveman’s I comes highly recommended and I would jump on purchasing the debut immediately.

Support NeoCaveman by purchasing their album here.
Follow NeoCaveman on Facebook for upcoming shows.

If you are in a band and have an album that you would like me to consider reviewing, please send a link to ertrok@gmail.com.  I would love to hear from you!

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