Listen to 405 Radio
  • No Events

    We'll get something in the diary soon

Crystal Fighters - Cave Rave

Crystal Fighters - Cave Rave

by , 27 May 2013

Throwing a BBQ this summer? Well, as your stooped below an umbrella, turning cylindrical tubes of charcoal for house-bound guests in the pissing rain, why not cue this up and fix yourself a large glass of something alcoholic and colourful. For even if it blurts from a polythene bag-protected portable speaker, Crystal Fighters' sophomore will transport even the most po-faced and dejected Limey to a place of untampered beaches, pulsating carnival sound systems and infinite, Day-Glo bliss.

Cave Rave, an album that the band retreated to the remote Basque Hills of Spain to produce, certainly feels, as its name suggests, like an exclusive party on a hot pile of rocks; the kind where everyone's sun-beaten, freaking out and eventually reflective in a youth-defining way. Opener, 'Wave' is, in fact, their most hallucinogenic and fizzy track to date, evoking the sort of trip that might see a vivid, slow-motion crab noshing a Solero and serenading bronzen merrymakers on a uke simultaneously. Aptly, its chorus is in keeping also - washing over like a shore-destined ripple that caresses a shallow-paddling, swimsuit-clad tourist. Although, if this is the record's most sleek and well-groomed beach poser, then highlight 'LA Calling' is far less conscious or cold-blooded. On the contrary, its breezy balearic hooks and package-resort terrace chants have far more in common with the lobstered 18-30, slumped sloppily aboard a deflating blow up crocodile. Not actually as crass and demeaning as this suggests, it ultimately makes you think - who needs the burden of a weighty brain when you've got air in your lungs, heat on your skin and a whopping grin across your chops?

Weather-spoilt imagery aside, their USP has always been their ability to seamlessly coalesce the traditional with the contemporary and their undeterred faithful will be pleased to hear that, in this department, they are more dependable than ever.

Crystal Fighters have also now realised their potential production-wise too, as - in lieu of 'Star Of Love'(s) loveable amateurism - it's follow up is fully-formed; slick, unadulterated fun. They channel their most sugary side on 'You & I', which goes hand-in-hand with 'Plage'(s) syrupy romanticism, before conjuring the climbing disco pop of Jarvis Cocker & Co on 'Separator'. Then the bittersweet 'No Man', with it's scuttling, vaguely Johnny Cash drums, arrives to rouse, juxtaposing with the more brash synths and immediate, bouncy refrain of 'Are We One'. Although, they also discover a penchant for slow builds on the record's quieter moments, which veer, contrastingly, between festival euphoria ('Everywhere') and over-droopy, clean cut balladry ('Bridge Of Bones').

Fortunately, the latter is a minor blip on an otherwise solid listen; a bottle cap in the sand that's rather uncomfortable as it presses into the ball of your foot. Ultimately, though, 'Cave Rave' is more of the same from the band; it is not an album of fierce innovation, but a perfect companion for sizzling meat and endless sunsets.

Rating: 7/10

Purchase and listen

Don't Miss Out

Related Reviews

  • Tanlines - Settings

    Tanlines - Settings

    by Ryan Barham

    Label: True Panther Sounds Release date: 08/03/10 Website: Brooklyn production duo Tanlines have promised that their sound will be “calypso disco electro music for various kinds of sex’. How will ‘Settings’, their debut release, make good on this promise? With the duo involved in a variety of acts such as Professor Murder, Brothers and Don Caballero and having supported everyone from The XX to Micachu and the Shapes via Crystal Fighters, th... [read more]

  • Crystal Fighters - Kazimier, Liverpool  26/03/11

    Crystal Fighters - Kazimier, Liverpool 26/03/11

    by Lauren Devlin

    Photos by Simon James Hunt After touring the UK with East London trio Get People, I managed to catch Crystal Fighters at Liverpool's Kazimier, the inside of which looks like a 1930's theatre. With a pineapple as a maraca, I knew I was in for something good. The guys appeared on stage and kicked off with song 'Odyssey', ended with 'Careless' and instantly warmed the crowd up for the main act. When Crystal Fighters came on stage, there was no anticipating what was about to... [read more]


Follow Us

Recommended Posts

Popular Posts

Mailing List

Sign up to our weekly mailing list.