These strange times are both dark and hopeful, the COVID pandemic and the maybe-end of the COVID pandemic (Delta variant & anti-vaxers notwithstanding), the collapse of Kabul and getting out of America’s longest war. In their first few records, New York’s Caveman mixed haunt and uplift, but with 2016’s Otero War (QRO review) hope won out. That continues with the intimate Smash, though it has its own touches of grey amid the silver shine.
Early single “Helpless” (QRO review) showcased the band’s glowing beauty, including a light disco catch beneath the synthed wash. There is much of that, such as the bigger hope of “You Got a Feeling” and shimmering close “Don’t Call Me”, or the buoyant touch to “Awake for the Week”. But there are also times of sadness, particularly the loss to opener “Like Me” and the slow & somber distance of “Will It Take Me”.
We are all hoping to return to some sort of normal (Caveman very much included, new tour starting soon). It won’t be like it was, it couldn’t be, but here’s hoping for the new hope of Smash.