Caved Mountains — A Slow Decline
Caved Mountains | In Review
By Caleb Stanislaw
Earlier this year Dallas band Caved Mountains dropped their new EP, A Slow Decline. A little bit “doom” and a little bit “pop,” A Slow Decline opener “Red Eyes of Gold” sets the mood for the record–the vocals are understated and purposefully bored sounding, and the band has a fuzzy, mechanical drive. The guitars are mostly stuck in a lower register, and the song has a wake-feel to it. “No one knows your name / slowly I will change” registers as despondent and maybe a little hopeless on my Sensitivity-o-Meter™, and the stage is set for the rest of the EP.
If you’re in the mood (yes, perhaps even that mood) then this could be the perfect record. Caved Mountains hits a stride with second tune “Rudder.” The melodic content here is lush compared to the opening track, and the vocal performance reaches both a higher register and a less-restrained emotional moment. It feels sad and wistful. The band is still making its descent into despondency.
But Caved Mountains isn’t some downer band that should be avoided. There’s a glimmer of optimism here, and the intention behind the record seems genuine. These guys can wield their instruments, and the songwriting is pretty good. “Take What’s Mine” possess the listener a little more closely than the preceding tracks; thumping drums and bass in the chorus offer a powerful counterpoint to the jumpier feeling verse sections. You can really hear the talent of producer Jorts Richardson sparkle through on this tune–the deeper you get into “Take What’s Mine” and the following tunes, the more things begin to coalesce into a concept record. Noisey soundscapes emerge, and droning guitars are used to great effect.
It took a few listens, but A Slow Decline definitely gathered meaning and nuance the more I dug in. I like that these songs take time to understand and digest. Care was taken in the arrangements, and that positively serves the songwriting. Take a listen to this record, or catch Caved Mountains live (there are no dates currently announced).