Caveman – Otero War (Rating  3.5 out of 5)

cavemanTo properly expose yourself to Otero War, the latest, and in the opinion of many, the greatest effort from Brooklyn based Synth/Psych/Indie band Caveman, go directly to song number 3 on the record and give “On My Own” a Listen. With a more distinct Southern California Laurel Canyon vibe, the song immediately establishes itself as a departure from the more gloomy atmospheric efforts of the bands prior efforts.

The whole thing has a Dawes meets Best Coast with a touch of LCD Soundsystem to it.  With each song carrying a DNA all its own, songs like “80 West” would have fit quite nicely on Dawe’s recent All Your Favorite Bands record, “Lean on Me” carries a whiff of U2 at their most sincere, and Life or “Just Living” is a radio friendly hit with some ELO worthy production value. Radio friendly  if they actually played great songs like this on the radio that is.

The vocals are great courtesy of main man and lead songwriter Matt Iwanusa, and the songwriting is spot on and melds with a glossy synchronicity courtesy of the refined production values. Close your eyes, put the headphones on, and give a careful listen to “Over the Hills”.  It is a great song with layered Beach Boy worthy harmonies.

If there is one criticism to be doled out it is the fuzzed out, Crazy Horse at their most rebellious, last track “I Need You in My Life”. No we don’t really need this song in our lives, so feel free to stop at song number 11. The rest of the record is pure class.