Staff Pick: Cave’s latest drops shaggier elements in favor of precision, but power remains

  • Photo credit: Chris Olsen
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From the October 24, 2013 edition

Threace, the latest album from the Chicago-based psych-rock quartet Cave, only includes five tracks yet it still stretches on well over 40 minutes, which means it’s generally not friendly to those with shorter attention spans (if this write-up runs a bit long for your tastes, for example, it’s a safe bet you’re not the crew’s ideal audience).

At nearly 12 minutes, opening track “Sweaty Fingers” sets the tone, with the players locking into a machinelike groove that calls to mind ’70s krautrock pioneers like Neu! “Slow Bern,” in turn, does precisely as its title suggests, simmering for seven hypnotic minutes without ever boiling over.

Gone are some of the shaggier elements that crept into past efforts (Psychic Psummer would be this album’s pot dealing, tie-dye wearing roommate). The tracks here are almost universally clean-shaven and precise, stripped of all but the most essential elements, and the music is all the more powerful for it.

Hundos opens the show.