Chimpomatic

The Cave Singers

Invitation Songs

Matador Records

Like an England early goal, a January love affair with an album almost certainly spells the inevitable slump into obscurity and defeat when it comes to the final whistle at the end of the year. Seattle's Cave Singers provided me with my first job of the year and though we all look set for a steady economic decline and general misery in the coming 12 months Invitation Songs has taken up the slack with its generous supply of much needed warmth this winter and only time will tell if it's still emitting this warmth come the end of play but I sincerely hope it is.

Cutting their teeth on a post-punk background and name-checking such bands as The Replacements, The Pixies and Fleetwood Mac as their influences this 3 piece has shocked everybody including themselves by creating what can only be described as a folk album. They never listen to folk music, they never intended to make folk music and until recently the guitarist had never even picked up his instrument. But all this can be seen to contribute to the honesty of this music and in this honesty comes its warmth, charm and power.

The music is uncomplicated with gentle guitar melodies being padded out with brushed and slapped drum beats and singer Pete Quirk's nasal drawl provides this music with the abrasion that is often missing from similar artists. Effortless stompers like opener Seeds Of Night (mp3) and Dancing On Our Graves recall Civil War marches with their relentless rhythm, while Helen is a tortured tale of lost love that swells slowly but then fades to nothing. This is the power of these songs as they hold in their repertoire the latent ability to freeze you with a sparse chill or scoop you up and cary you away on a thermal sky rocket, and they do all this without you knowing. This album makes no mission statements so it's effects are not easily spotted but deeply felt. This is very physical music and conjures up a whole host of landscapes around you as it plays. Called swirls around in a barely visible darkness with haunting cries looming out at you while Royal Lawns expands into cavernous halls that echo its melancholy. Elephant Clouds is the backbone of this record and is a curious affair indeed. It bears a strange resemblance to Richard Marx's Hazard and is still a corker. It tip-toes along on what is by now a trade mark nervous tension but then picks up into a galloping torrent of emotionally soaring awesomeness, but as is also a trademark it never fully puts out and leaves you breathless and wanting more.

The aptly named Invitation Songs has welcomed me into this musical year. It is an album dripping with mystery, its melodies are ghostly and empty and yet can turn with dazzling ease into foot-stomping rousers or delicate heart-warmers. Its humility will make it a slow burner but it has the power to seep into every corner of your life and once it does your life will be a better place.


Links

Matador Records
Myspace

Tags

#BC
#Music

30th Jan 2008 - Tumblr

3.5

News

Reviews

Articles

Surveillance

Related

The Cave Singers

Welcome Joy

The Irishman

Long, slow, thoroughly enjoyable loose jam through Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino/Pesci/Keitel’s greatest hits.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

2nd Dec 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Search

Joker

Batman via Scorsese, in impeccably art directed, neatly packaged origin story.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Nov 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Frozen 2

Surprisingly strong sequel that gets going after a convoluted start.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Nov 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

The Mule

Casual drama from Clint Eastwood, with the man himself anchoring things through a charming turn.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Nov 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

The King

Luscious period drama. Beautifully put together - like Wolf Hall+.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Nov 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

El Camino

Throw away Breaking Bad expansion piece with little tension or jeopardy.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Oct 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Vice

Stylish but incoherent Cheney biopic, hampered by another one-note turn from Bale.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Oct 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Bohemian Rhapsody

Mind numbingingly basic biopic, saved by the nostalgia for the music and moments.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

5th Oct 2019

Read more 2 star reviews

Minding the Gap

Interesting doc following the lives of 3 teens becoming adults, tied together by skateboarding.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Sep 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Manchester by the Sea

Painful, occasionally uplifting viewing with a grief stricken central performance.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Sep 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Spider-Man

Into the Spider-Verse

Stylish, trippy concept animated superhero flick with some great moments.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Sep 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Dora & the Lost City of Gold

Young adult upgrade, with just enough Conchords humour to keep it enjoyable.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Aug 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Breath

Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing its way a little.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Aug 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

A Star is Born

Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Two For Joy

Predictably grim seaside coming-of-age indie. Decent enough, but you’ve seen it before


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Mary Poppins Returns

Stylish sequel, hampered in places by some authentic 1960s pacing.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Jun 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Coraline

Out-there kids fable with an old school Tim Burton vibe.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Jun 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Blackkklansman

Rock solid 90s style indie movie. Beautifully assembled at all levels.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st May 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Can’t Stand Losing You

Fairly one-sided Police doc about the seemingly dislikeable trio.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th May 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Tallulah

Decent, but slightly muddled parenting indie.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Dumbo

Forgettable re-imagining of a not totally unforgettable Disney classic.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Apr 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Missing Link

Solid stop-motion animation that’s light on plot, but high on charm.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Apr 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Sicario 2

Soldaro

Surprisingly stylish sequel that drops the ball in classic straight-to-VHS style halfway through.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Hold the Dark

Opaque Alaskan thriller from Jeremy Saulnier, with little regard for convention.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Leave No Trace

Low key indie spin on Rambo, as a father and daughter try and live off grid.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Mar 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Dirt

Fun biopic that runs out of steam about when the band did.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Deadpool 2

A diminished remake of Deadpool 1. Occasional LOLs.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Mar 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Bird Box

High concept sci-fi that stretches its concept a little thin.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

19th Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Triple Frontier

Unremarkable, cliche-ridden actioner. Utterly lacking in suspense.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Mar 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Jurassic World

Fallen Kingdom

A disjointed patchwork of homages, nods and rip offs from dozens of other movies, with little to offer of its own.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Mar 2019

Read more 2 star reviews

A Quiet Place

Laborious, high-concept alien horror. While the concept is good, the beats are all well telegraphed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

2nd Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Isn’t It Romantic

Witty, if a little obvious, post-meta rom-com.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

The Lego Movie 2

The Second Part

It’s literally a re-hash of all the themes of the first one with a few less jokes.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

23rd Feb 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Unsane

Slight, but sometime engaging iPhone feature.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Jan 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Tully

Decent modern spin on Mary Poppins. Bit uneven, but a nice soundtrack helps things along.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

20th Jan 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Rampage

Bog standard entry into The-Rock-action-movie genre. As much personality as a computer game.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Jan 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Avengers

Infinity War

This time it’s really, really serious. Seriously.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Dec 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

The Greatest Showman

It’s a musical ...but slick direction makes it just about bearable.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Dec 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Ready Player One

Pop-culture bouillabaisse, hampered by numerous terrible accents.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Dec 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Lady Bird

Pacey, emotional, old-fashioned indie pic. Beautifully observed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Dec 2018

Read more 4 star reviews

Darkest Hour

Surprisingly underwhelming biopic that doesn’t find its feet until 20m from the end.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Nov 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Den of Thieves

Utterly derivative / thoroughly enjoyable ‘Heat’ rip off.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Nov 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Well crafted character study, with some nice touches.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

10th Nov 2018

Read more 4 star reviews

You Were Never Really Here

Brutal revenge thriller. Stylish and violent, with plenty of explanation left to the imagination.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Nov 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Private Life

Intense indie drama from Netflix. Impeccably acted and directed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Oct 2018

Read more 4 star reviews

Black Panther

Disappointingly unoriginal superhero movie, complete with dull CGI action.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Oct 2018

Read more 2 star reviews

Modern Life is Rubbish

Continually clichéd rock romance that never breaks into originality.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Oct 2018

Read more 1.5 star reviews

England is Mine

Dry Morrissey biopic that gets arty by avoiding using any Smiths songs.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Oct 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

The Only Living Boy in New York

Decent rehash of vintage indie movie tropes.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Oct 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Hostiles

Mumblingly wordy western that’s big on self-importance and low on drama and tension.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Sep 2018

Read more 2.5 star reviews