"Perfect Pitch Black" (Hydrahead Records; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


With “Perfect Pitch Black,” Cave In seem to have forsaken the melodic rock success of “Antenna” by returning to a much heavier sound without resorting to the prior chaotic style that seemingly perfected with “Until Your Heart Stops.” As such, “Perfect Pitch Black” plays out like a heavy rock record replete with dramatic highs and lows. “Perfect Pitch Black” is a perfect reflection of a band that is weary, still knows good riffs and songs, and still likes to explore the limits of a band’s style.

“Perfect Pitch Black” probably won’t win Cave In any new fans, but it is sturdy amalgamation of the sonic territory Cave In have traversed over the years.

“Perfect Pitch Black” was produced by Cave In and Andrew Schneider. 

Cave In: Stephen Brodsky on vocals and guitar, Adam McGrath on guitars, Caleb Scofield on bass and vocals, and John-Robert Conners on drums.

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"Antenna" (RCA; 2003)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter


In the past few years, as I've read about the indie rock scene, I couldn't escape the plethora of glowing press for Boston's very own Cave In. Cave In were the media darlings of the indie underground especially since the band were linked up with Hydra Head Records which was another part of the music biz that received radiant press.

All of my initial impressions from hearing about the Cave In's efforts prior to "Antenna" were that the band was a hardcore outfit bordering on math metal ("Until Your Heart Stops" has often been compared to The Dillinger Escape Plan). And I gathered from reviews of the band's most recent full-length "Jupiter" that the band was exploring more spacey, although more accessible, material. None of this, of course, prepared me for "Antenna."

One quick spin of "Antenna" will make it hard to believe that Cave In was ever a hardcore band. Not that it should matter. "Antenna" is full of rich guitar work and memorable vocals which makes the disc a must listen for fans of good music. The guitar work recalls the deft skills of U2's Edge along with robust rhythm playing often found in harder alt-rock bands and more aggressive emo bands. Each song has a solid foundation adorned with colorful guitar interplay – it's never dull to listen to.

The vocals have the balance of strength and desperation that is so rare to find. I must say that "Antenna" is not pop music in the strict sense, but it would appeal to people who appreciate good pop music as well as though that like the music to stand on its own without easy categorization. The lyrics are offbeat and offer twisted perspectives and wildly inventive wordplay – "Antenna" is definitely one of the few CDs that I enjoy listening to for the lyrics alone from time to time.

Cave In's "Antenna" is by no stretch of the imagination a heavy metal or a hardcore record, but could pass for a hard rock album given that a number of the songs have up-tempo feels and booming guitars. All in all Cave In's "Antenna" is a solid record that has the potential to be enjoyed by fans of many genres. I will seek out the band's earlier material as I am particularly interested in hearing how a band goes from sounding like The Dillinger Escape Plan to Foo Fighters over the course of three albums.

Fans of Moke and Foo Fighters will enjoy Cave In's "Antenna."

"Antenna" was produced by Rich Costey (The Apex Theory, Otep, Sam Black Church).

Cave In: Stephen Brodsky on vocals and guitar, Adam McGrath on guitar and vocals, Caleb Scofield on bass and vocals, and John-Robert Conners on drums and vocals.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:10 -0500.