A horrible hack

The Cave Singers

Welcome Joy

Year Released: 2009
Format: CD
Label: Matador
 
Reviewed by Ben Haynes on Oct 15, 2009
Derek Fudesco was one of the founding members of Murder City Devils when they came together in Seattle, 1996. After their sad and inevitable demise in 2001, he went on to form Pretty Girls Make Graves with Andrea Zollo (they’d played together previously in the Hookers). The Cave Singers came together as PGMG disbanded, signing to Matador in 2007 and issuing their first LP ‘Invitation Songs’ almost immediately. ‘Welcome Joy’ is the follow-up, two years in the making. And it sucks.

One would not believe the post-punk/hardcore backgrounds of the persons involved on the strength and power of the music alone. The crisp, light, folky guitar-work occasionally recalls some of Led Zeppelin’s forays into the acoustic, with hints of classic American rock like Springsteen and Creedence as well as a bit of Dylan adding to the nostalgic and lonely overall feel of the record. Any enjoyment the listener could possibly take from the sporadically pleasing instrumentation is, unfortunately, completely ruined by singer Pete Quirk’s abominable, cracked and very nasal vocal delivery. The mix itself sounds horribly muddy, like they’re playing underwater half the time, and five or six songs in it begins to feel so repetitive that you’re sure they’re just reusing the same lead guitar riff over and over again.

So airy it’s just cold and so one-paced it’s fundamentally boring, I couldn’t listen to ‘Welcome Joy’ all the way through if you paid me. Hugely disappointing and entirely unworthy of investigation.

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