Skull Diver mines new sonic depths and builds a beautifully executed sophomore album.
The best way to describe Portland four-piece band Still Caves is psychedelic garage punk, but add the surf-vernacular title of their second EP, Gnarly for Days, and surf can be promptly added. The band formed four years ago and released its debut EP, Static Lips, in 2012.
The first track, “This Face,” is full of ghostly rhythms with echoed vocals and driving guitar that only gets louder, faster and more haunting. Followed by five tracks of pure fuzz guitar bliss and culminating in an 11-minute creation that is dark, moody and unfaltering (much like a good Portland downpour).
The standout track on the album is “Dutch,” the most melodic and surf-sounding, evocative of a summer house show in a musty basement where half the crowd is moshing and half are rhythmically bobbing their heads.
At times, the vocals get drowned out by the two guitars and bass, but this only adds to Still Caves’ coolness: Nobody wanted to sing vocals, so drummer Travis Visscher stepped up. He’s literally further back, allowing the band’s guitar power to come forward–joining the ranks of The Eagles, Lightning Bolt and The Lucksmiths. »
– Sophia June
Catch Still Caves live for the album release show August 1 at The Know