This ep really takes me back. It makes me feel a wave of nostalgia. It gives me feelings of euphoria and yearn for the simpler days. Odd, huh? Strange, cause this self titled release from Milwaukee based rock group Neocaveman, was just released. This is their brand new release and yet I feel this album has been with me my whole life. That could be for several reasons. First I’ve been lucky enough to know of a couple of the band members for a number of years now. All the way back to when they played in a little band called Glenview Lane. You see, I’ve always been about local support. I’ve been lucky enough to watch band member Peter Hair grow over the years, from various bands to solo sets. Maybe it’s just the feelings this album gives me.
It is reminiscent of much of the music I loved when I was younger and a lot of it I still love today. There were a few times I could hear the brooding sounds of New Order. There was the unmistakable upbeat sounds of early Weezer. I got to hear the semi-pyschadelic sounds of Pavement. There was no mistaking the sounds of the Elliott Smith led band, Heatmiser. Lastly there was the young, post rock, emo sounds of American Football. So for all these reasons I am nostalgic. This album brings back memories and feelings I’ve had over the years. Which is astonishing from a release that just came out and I’ve only listen to now a handful of times.
Neocaveman is a Milwaukee based band, hailing from the Riverwest neighborhood. Consisting of Sam Balistreri (Guitar/vocals), Simon Beno (Synthesizers/crowd chants), Peter Hair (Guitar/vocals), Paul Tyree (Drums), Jeremy Moroder (Bass).
The album starts off with the song “Terminal.” The opening riffs remind me of “Don’t Fear The Reaper.” The vocals on this track are a little deeper in tone and are reminiscent of that brooding 80’s sound. Which I love. It’s the shortest track on this ep. Coming in at under three minutes, it gives you just a little taste. If you think the whole ep is going to sound lik that, you’d be wrong.
It cuts into track two, “Times of Feast.” The vocals are incredibly different. They start off much softer, more subtle, almost lo-fi. The music itself is melodic, with swooning guitars and crashing symbols.
“Depend On It” makes up track three. It starts with a sort of psychedelic feel, morphs into something incredibly strong. We get some harder sounding vocals for a moment, then we are right back to psychedelic background noise and vocal harmonies. Awesome.
“Bitter Change” is up next. There is a touch of Weezer in there, meets Elliott Smith as the lead singer for Alkaline Trio. I think it’s a great sound. The vocals are on point.
Lastly we have “Born Into”. The beginning of this track is very bouncy. The vocals kick in and are very mellow. While the vocals don’t last through the middle of the track, we get kicked into some amazing post-rock jamming. It’s soothing, the instrumentals are great and at the end the track finishes off with our aforementioned vocals.
The instrumentals on this ep are tight. Each piece of music, each iota of sound was placed properly and for good reason. All the instruments just come together so well. The vocals are exactly what they should be at all times. I’d maybe like to hear a little more highs than there are on this album. A touch more of emotion, but it’s nothing that falters this piece of music.
Overall this is great work by a talented group of musicians. Their sound, though not new in and of itself, is a great kickback to me. Reminiscent of great bands that came before them. It sounds nothing like the pop indie rock that has been scurrying around the music scene the last number of years.
I highly suggest listening to this album. Also, make a purchase, come to shows, buy merch, support local music!
Here’s the link: