The Cavemen Go. Yes, they do. Hailing from New Haven, Conn., Boston, Mass. and Brooklyn, NY, The Cavemen Go have kept going through more than a half decade; through two EPs (2003’s The Cavemen Go and 2005’s Never Part Again) and a full-length; through countless shows at clubs, bars, cafes and festivals. Through it all, they’ve come to be recognized as one of the finest pop bands in the Northeastern United States, consistently solid in songcraft and performance, constantly growing and honing their sound to an ever-sharper point.
From the time The Cavemen Go first emerged as a duo (singer/guitarist Jeremy Sage and drummer Bob Rock) in 2003, the band was markedly distinct from their Connecticut peers. Sage’s songwriting channels the no-frills, hook-heavy sounds of early rock’n’roll without coming off as self-consciously retro. His lyrics and singing convey an unabashedly-hopeful romanticism, but the kind tempered with dry wit and emotional ambiguity. Those creative tendencies have continued.
New Lives, recorded by the members of the band (Jeremy, Bob, keyboardist/singer Emily Hamar-McMinn and former bassist John Varrone) in an empty apartment above a lawyer’s office sees The Cavemen Go further fusing the past and the present. The Brill Building/British Invasion/Motown influences are still there, as are nods to the poppier end of contemporary indie rock. There are even shades of country and folk-rock. Simultaneously modern and classic, nuanced and efficient, New Lives showcases the band’s punchiest, most urgent melodies yet. With the arrival of new bassist/vocalist Brian LaRue, The Cavemen Go are poised for yet another exciting chapter.
RIYL: Elvis Costello, The Kinks, Ben Lee, The Cars, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
July 8, 2009: Review on Metromix Connecticut blog:
For more than half a decade, the Cavemen Go have been churning out some of the finest no-frills pop-rock in the Northeast.
July 10, 2009: Review in New Haven Register:
I’ve received a couple EPs from the band over the years, but “New Lives” is the first LP. And it’s worth the wait. It’s a timeless set of 12 songs that really will turn out to be one of the finest releases of the year, local or national. Sage just has a way with making tunes that are instantly hummable, but also intelligent and surprising. There’s no denying a strong Costello and early Ben Lee connection, but the band also breaks out some Motown and indie influences.
November 8, 2009: Review in New Haven Advocate:
Think about the Kinks and Elvis Costello, and if you smile, you’ll probably be into The Cavemen Go. Following the requisite series of EPs, TCG finally released their debut full-length New Lives earlier this year, solidifying their place as one of the top bands in the state. They’ve got jangly guitars, oohs and ahs, playful melodies, truly thoughtful lyrics and just a touch of punk rock attitude.
January 8, 2010: Included on New Haven Register’s “Best Local Music of ’09” list:
There’s not much that can be said about singer/songwriter Jeremy Sage and the rest of The Cavemen Go that hasn’t already be said. Pitch-perfect pop that combines The Kinks and Elvis Costello? Yep. A modernized ’60s garage rock sound? Absolutely. “The New Lives” a great album? You know it.
EDIT: June 21, 2010: Review on Beerandbands:
New Lives by The Cavemen Go, is the latest release from February Records (formerly Tweefort) so it probably won’t be a suprise to regular readers that although I’m not sure about the bands name, I do know that I like this record quite a lot. I don’t know how February do it, they just seem to have a knack for finding great bands. … I could write reams about this album but the bottom line is this, if you like artists like Elvis Costello (lyrics and music), and The Kinks, 60’s pop, harmonies and modern indie rock, and you’d like all this to also sound like something new, then this is definitely a record that would only enhance your record shelf.
EDIT: July 1, 2010: Review on Side Ponytail:
New Lives is a rock/pop album that reminds of music I grew up listening to: Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Squeeze. Songs like “Forget it Claudia” and “We’re Not That Different” have that vibe especially. The piano in “We’re Not That Different” really reminds me of something you might hear on an Elvis Costello record. … I’ve been listening to songs like “Less Than Zero” by Elvis Costello and “So It Goes” by Nick Lowe on an endless loop lately. New Lives fits neatly into that pattern while offering something new.
EDIT: July 18, 2010: Short review on Beehive Candy:
Reminds us of listening to British sixties offshore radio stations like Radio Caroline (yes of course we were to young – obviously hmmm) and yet it switches to a modern feel so I guess in some ways that makes it kind of timeless, enjoy these people, they are good!