REVIEW : FUTURE CAVEMEN – II EP (2022)

Future Cavemen’s is the alter ego or alias of Joe Tennant, a Bath-based singer-songwriter and producer who releases his II EP this month, the follow up to last year`s I EP. This extended play was largely written in London when he suddenly found himself out of his musical day-job and in search of a new creative identity.

The singer remembers: “I had just left the garage rock band I was in and was transitioning to computer recording software. I was starting to experiment with some electronic sounds, trying (unsuccessfully) to veer away from rock.”

The release opens with `Diggin` which is a kind of slow burn with vocals quietly shared over a continuous chugging guitar riff initially. It gains a big more depth with tapped percussion and synths before reverting back to it`s more stripped back texture. It`s not long before it again gathers more power and noise and then seems to get into a constant groove with a steady drum beat accompaniment until it concludes. The lyrics seemed to relay a tale of maybe not loneliness but at least of a solitary late night existence and trying to find a life groove. We have a lot more edginess with `Poison Flower` with it`s at times stop start nature and wobbly synth rhythms. The breathy vocals recall the pain of a bitter relationship and there was almost a sense of frustration shared. The fuzzy bass line, guitar riffs, solid drumbeat and backing harmonies were joyful.

`Gypsy Curse` kind of recalls a time when the singer bought a vintage synthesiser off a stranger on Gumtree. He said “Lyrically, it’s partly autobiographical, part truth, part fiction… I had just purchased a vintage synth (my first synth) from a middle aged man on Gumtree – seemed like a good deal. I remember carrying it home on the bus, it was extremely bulky.” It`s a busy but quite compelling listen as we get heavy synth sounds, shook percussion, acoustic guitar, drum rhythms and croaky ragged vocals and some delightful backing la la la harmonies and grinding guitar riffs during this brief journey. We have a piano introduction to `Under Rainbows` with a vocal that is more spoken word than sung. A constant drum beat and what sounds like strings join as this quite idiosyncratic number evolves. It veers off into a bit of a psychedelic haze towards the end.  

There was much to be enjoyed with Future Cavemen and the four tracks here really whetted my appetite for more. The numbers shared have an entrancing and enchanting feel to them which really piqued my interest levels.

I`m sure on the strength of the  I and II extended play releases there`s  more to follow and i`m certainly looking forward to hearing whatever is offered.

Rating 9/10