With Pure Moods, Chicago’s Cave mingles the spirits of mid-70s Can with Midwestern garage and psych-rock to create a tight, 25-minute swirl of mesmeric rhythms and primal vocalization. The record’s title may recall an infomercial compilation disc series featuring Enya, latter day Sting, and the theme from X-Files, but its contents are considerably more engaging than mere Hallmark bargain bin miscellany.
“Hot Bricks” is the glitchy lead-off, driven by a propulsive kraut-rock beat. It’s a frenetic piece of music with aggressive rhythmic patterns anchored by the sound of a phone off its hook. “Teenager” perpetuates the frantic theme, stuttering along with thumping toms and adolescent intensity, while “Brigette’s Trip,” which constitutes the record’s second half, is a guitar-led piece reminiscent of Kraftwerk. A thirteen-minute affair, the track reveals itself slowly. It’s all sharp angles at first, before peaking in a haze of tremolo and cymbal crashes at its midpoint. The drums change tack for the comedown, emerging through the sheen of glittering guitar delay for a meditative epilogue in 7/4 time.
All in all, Pure Moods represents yet another intriguing twist in the psych-rock storyline. With its release, Cave once again proves that it possesses an unusual knack for genuinely compelling instrumental rock music, an increasingly impressive quality in our age of ever-decreasing attention spans.
// Notes from the Road
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