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Album Review: Leaving by Caves

Bristol punks Caves released their third album Leaving on the 3rd November. It’s a chaotic masterpiece of pop hooks awash in noisey feedback. Lyrically it’s a tad dark, dealing with personal feelings on gender, respect and burning out. You may notice some references to same sex marriage – an issue particularly close to singer Lou Hanman’s heart.  They’re particularly evident on title track ‘Leaving’ and summed up succinctly and perfectly.

Ignoring the lyrical content Leaving comes out sounding like a triumphant and uplifting album. The big punky riffs are delectable, the catchy hooks and harmonies will engrain themselves into your very core and you’ll end up loving this simple yet effective album.

Recorded in August 2014 Leaving marked a significant change in the way Caves wrote and recorded. With the absence of a permanent drummer Hanman took on the duties herself and with the reduction to a duo you’ll find Caves with a new directness to their sound. It’s more accomplished and assured than previous releases. Hanman and Jonathan Minto (vocals/bass) seem to have nailed down exactly what they want to sound like – with that sound they blossom.

caves promo 1

‘Sad’, ‘Dull’ and ‘Puddle’ are fantastic songs with the harmonies and driving guitars making you move and throw your hands in the air. ‘Sad’ gets the album off to a particularly strong start – Hanman’s vocal sounds brilliant over the churning punk guitars. Minto lends a distorted vocal to the grungy ‘Oh Antonio’. The anguished tinge to the vocal complements the heavier guitar work perfectly. ‘Puddle’ is wonderfully infectious while ‘Dull’ has a beautifully delicate intro before the feedback and distortion bursts back into play.

If there’s one drawback to Leaving it just not damn long enough. Clocking in at less than 18 minutes it is criminally short. You’ll be left begging for more and it’s near impossible not to press play again after the last moments of feedback on ‘Sadder’. An accomplished and thoroughly enjoyable album.

AD Rating 8/10

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