Cave In – “Final Transmission”

“…when I fired up the Spotify machine to listen to this newest outing I was very happy to see they’ve gone full noise rock.”

“Final Transmission” is Cave In’s 6th studio album since their formation in 1995. They steadily released records every 2 years or so until they went on an 8 year hiatus, finally broken by the release of this record. I was very surprised by this release, and I’m happy to say I love it. I know Cave In through their more progressive hardcore stuff like 1998’s “Until Your Heart Stops” and 2011’s “White Silence”, and I really love the work they did on those records. They took a more direct approach to songwriting in the early 2000’s, with songs like “Anchor” and “Inspire”, and thats where my interest dies. The 2 or 3 riffy rock records aren’t bad, they just weren’t what I was looking to hear when I listened to Cave In.

So when I fired up the Spotify machine to listen to this newest outing I was very happy to see they’ve gone full noise rock. I think that’s a natural progression for a progressive hardcore band; when you’re a 24 year old group, and it’s time to slow down, I think they noise route is the truest one to take. It sounds like one of their older records, which is something I love about it, it fits right in with my favorite of their work. The only criticism concerning the sound that I can give, is the drums sound weird. Like one of the mics cables was sending signal slower than the others and so you get this constant flam effect throughout the record. I suppose it was an artistic choice; It’s very easy to correct an issue like that in the box now, and I don’t see why the engineer wouldn’t have just adjusted it accordingly, unless it was a purposeful effect. Artistic choices, sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, It didn’t resonate with me, but whose to say you won’t find it cool? Hey, at least they went for it.

I loved the textures they got on this outing. That’s really the whole idea with noisy rock isn’t it? Textures? “Lunar Day” is the perfect example of what I’m talking about, its just covered in fuzz, and there’s a wash of strange tones looming over the top of the mix. The next song “Winter Window” is where we finally get some very solid structure on the record, I imagine this was a rejected Mutoid Man piece, it just has a very similar feel to the rest of that catalog, as well as “Lanterna” (which was one of my favorites). And finally, “Led to the Wolves”. It was the best song on the record by far. It sounds like it was recorded through 1 over-compressed microphone and then absolutely slammed with distortion. It was probably the most high energy piece on the record, and I thought it was a great way to end the record. 

In the wake of the tragic loss of their bassist and long time friend Caleb Scofield, I think Cave In, as well as the rest of the music community, was able to rally in the best way possible to release this record as a final respect to their friend whose passed on. “The Final Transmission” is fantastic. It starts out crushingly heartfelt with the title track, which is the unmixed, untainted, final bedroom demo song that Scofield sent to the rest of the band before he passed. It continues in waves of fuzz throughout the record, until ending on probably the noisiest, wildest, coolest track I’ve heard in quite a while. 

Half the proceeds from this record will go to support Caleb’s wife, and two children, so go check it out, it’s seriously worth the listen.

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