Seemingly as prolific as he is imaginative, Somerset-based alternative rock act Future Cavemen, real name Joe Tennant, is back with his second EP. I had the pleasure of reviewing his first EP I, late last year so I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this one. It’s called II.
By Graeme Smith
What struck me most about the tracks on I was Joe’s way with words and fresh approach to indie rock. II doesn’t disappoint in this regard either. From the opening few bars of Diggin, the lyrics are infused with poetry and imagery and its slow-burn, stripped back instrumentals feels like nothing else out there. The track explodes to life after the first verse, with classical strings merging with rock and roll elements. The second verse introduces organ and you’re left excited for what is to come next.
In track two Poison Flower, Joe decides to go all psychedelic. The bass is heavy and severe, juxtaposed with gentle acoustic guitar and sci-fi synths (Joe says the chorus reminds him of the TV show The Clangers). It all coalesces into a unique classic rock sound. The lyrics are pleading, with a dash of paranoia and frustration.
Gypsy Curse comes next, heaving on the percussion and dirty electronica. There’s a confessional feel to the lyrics, again steeped in imagery that brings the track’s story to life. As the track progresses, the cacophony grows before releasing for the last section, giving the listener just enough time to gather their thoughts before the EP’s final chapter.
That last chapter is Under Rainbows. It starts delicately with a looping piano waltz and a Beatles-esque folk rock feel. Mournful cello joins in, as do drums, and it wouldn’t be a Future Cavemen track without eventually arriving at a full rock arrangement. Just as it does, though, things head back to acoustic, with hard-played guitar and hummed harmonies.
It’s simply astonishing the range of sounds and styles Joe has put into this four track EP. Each track is a banger in its own right, with its own distinct feel, while they still work really well together a compilation. I continue to be impressed by Future Cavemen. Joe is truly one of the most innovative artists out there right now.
You can check out II below.