You know, the silent knock on all things goth is that it’s an artistic dead end, that one is painted into a corner before one even makes the artistic act. This is essentially both the plague of and rallying cry for genre fiction, as well, but guess what? That kind of snobbery not only ignores some essential human connection to the primary pose — what is it about goth that makes people rearrange their entire lives to simply “be” goths? — but it also ignores the basic principle in creating art that says limiting exercises are an essential good and healthy piece of the process. And what is being fucking totally dour and depressed, if not a “limiting exercise?”
This is a long way around the block of saying that I don’t think Scranton’s Cave People are goths per se, but I do think that they’re messing around with a particularly rewarding genre exercise. On the group’s Sinning Tree LP — released just hours ago — they’re fusing the building blocks of anthemic indie rock with something a lot darker, something like that goth pose, but internalized instead of being so much about the external. The TL;DR version of all this is that they sound like Interpol, when Interpol were good. Better still, though, there are levels of feeling in tracks like “Hands” and “Small” that you never got in that moment when the world was Interpol’s. Could Cave People be the first band to forge anthemic, soaring American anthems about wearing black on the outside because black is how you feel on the outside? Let’s wait and see.
With Hurry, Eric Slick and Cherry at Hurry’s Halloween Bash. Tickets and more info here.