Farm, The Cave | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Farm, The Cave 

Album Review

The Cave
  • The Cave

From the woolly nether regions of northwestern Vermont, experimental-folk trio Farm return with their highly anticipated third album, The Cave. Local music critics, rejoice! Following last year’s excellent, if somewhat unwieldy, Gray Birds, the disc defies easy categorization — local music critics, grumble! It’s possible to identify influences on a track-by-track basis, but as a whole the album is a stunning and diverse collection of tunes exhibiting a marked evolution in both style and scope.

Role-swapping chameleons Ben Maddox, Joshua Givens and Jedd Kettler — each a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter — lead off with “Bulls,” a tune that justifies Camper Van Beethoven comparisons. It’s short and sweet, with just a dab of plaintive lyrical innocence.

Obliging the “Americana-noir” tab thrust upon them by certain members of the local press . . . ahem, “Revelation Sessions” follows. Atmospheric slide guitar swirls around a gently roiling acoustic guitar, while the lyrics are delivered in an Isaac Brock-meets-Valium fashion. If Modest Mouse went on a folk bender, it might sound a lot like this — or Sun Kil Moon’s Tiny Cities, of course.

“Second Song” is a pleasant little ditty with the slightest breezy-Brit-pop tinge. It’s the closest thing to a love song you’ll find here.

With guitars blazing over pounding drums and bass, “Noah’s Horse” is brutal and devilish, exuding Mule Variations-era, Waits-esque tomfoolery.

“Future Things” follows, keeping the volume turned up and listeners guessing with a full-throttle, indie-rock romp.

“Bread Dust Gold Dust” is a sinister instrumental interlude, setting us up for the album’s second half.

“Vaquero” provides lilting acoustic relief from the aural assault of the previous three tracks. Having mentioned Mark Kozalek’s Sun Kil Moon already, I’m a bit loath to do so again. But if I did, it would work.

The remainder of the album follows in similarly unpredictable style. If nothing else, Farm keep us on our toes. Exhibit A: the bouncy, borderline dance-pop groove of “Flew Off,” which might be the best cut on a terrific album.

Farm was already good. And they’ve gotten even better. So where the mammoth 18-track Gray Birds was almost too much of a good thing, the 15 songs found on (in?) The Cave are almost not enough. But so goes that old showbiz axiom, “Leave ’em wanting more.” We do, boys. We do.

Farm celebrate the release of their new album this Saturday at Winooski’s Monkey House with a smorgasbord of local rockers, including The Breaking In, How to Stay Alive in the Woods and northern New York’s Monsterbuck.

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: , ,

Pin It

About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation