Sunday, February 04, 2024

The Cavemen - Ca$h 4 Scrap

The Cavemen are so good at what they do that they make all other bands of their type seem almost irrelevant. Out now on Slovenly Recordings, Ca$h 4 Scrap is The Cavemen's fifth full-length album and first in five years. In a way, it's a quintessential Cavemen release which finds these crazed Neanderthals tearing into some of the wildest & most ferocious rock 'n' roll your senses could ever hope to encounter. At the same time, it finds the band continuing the musical evolution that was becoming apparent on 2019's Night After Night and the follow-up EP Euthanise Me. When they still feel inclined towards sheer sonic destruction, these fellas leave nothing in their path safe from obliteration. "Booze, Ciggies 'n Drugs" is absolutely the instant classic the title promises (imagine the Dead Boys on speed), and the raging "Personal WWIII" could not be more of a song of our times. There is no living punk singer who can scream with more force and conviction than the mighty Paul Caveman. The production and performances are still raw and trashy in a way that's definitive for garage punk. But on Ca$h 4 Scrap, The Cavemen's dirty little secret — that they are highly skilled songwriters & musicians and not just pugilistic savages aiming to club you into submission — is fully exposed for the world to hear.  

I wouldn't go quite as far as to say that The Cavemen have gone "pop," but they are leaning more than ever towards the tuneful side of classic punk. "Without You" is old school melodic punk rock 'n' roll just the way I like it. "Hangin Up" sounds like it could have been an A-side on Raw Records in 1977. If you had played "Can't Remember Your Name" for me and told me it was Los Pepes, I wouldn't have doubted you for a second. The sing-along stomper "Leather Boys" brings a heavy glam rock influence. And then there are some pleasant surprises: "Flowers On My Grave" is a brooding, haunting ballad, while the new single "Night of the Demon" is heavy rock done right. To just call Ca$h 4 Scrap a vintage Cavemen record would sell it short. To call it a completely untypical Cavemen record would sell it short too. So let's just say this is the best album yet from the greatest punk rock band on Earth. 

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