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.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.