Album Reviews

Cave Lions: The First Time [Album Review]


Thom Carter just never stops working! With the release of The First Time under the psyeudoname Cave Lions, he has reached (an estimated) 21 official releases under 6 different names. It’s as though with each experimentation process he develops in his head, he titles it in such a manner that the depth of what he wishes to express is both fitting and appropriate. And anyone with half a bit of knowledge, or terrific search methods on Wikipedia, can tell you that a worldly inspired collection of blues and experimental instrumental songs can be likened to the now extinct breed of lion (or possibly even a tiger!). If anyone could rationalize this fact, the philosopher Thom himself could surely make you believe whatever he would like to believe.

Carter’s previous work has been acoustic based, but never quite reaching the bluesy notes he went with on The First Time. His echoing vocals in “No Love Between Us” are reminiscent of the delta blues (or at least how they have been described by older folks who would know better). “Hell Inside Me” breaks out the Stevie Ray Vaughn of the new age with harsh guitar riffs and a plethora of experimental bells and whistles to steer the heart wherever our man decides it should go. And then it gets weird. Aside from a beautiful cover of Nick Cave’s “Into My Arms”, our wandering musician’s soul pulls us through a collection of highlights and occasional disturbing instrumentals. But the flow never changes; once again you will find yourself lost in the power of the same man who brought the world Menhirs of Er Grah and March Rosetta (his two most commonly used monikers). He really can do no wrong.

Cave Lions probably won’t receive the attention and credit it deserves due to Carter’s laundry list of projects constantly in the works. Sure Thom could have skewed together a couple more blues tracks and made a different style of music for Black Crown or Minimalist State (two more of his monikers), but that wouldn’t fit his personality at all. Much like the cave lions used to prey upon bears in slumber, this is a multitasking and incredibly talented artist who will sneak up from the depths of eternal bliss and strike a musical mating call into our brains, leaving us yearning for more. Yeah, he’s that damn good.

Download: “No Love Between Us” by Cave Lions
[audio:100429-cave-lions-no-love-between-us.mp3|titles=No Love Between Us|artists=Cave Lions]

Cave Lions: The First Time

[CD, 2010]

1. Hell Inside Me
2. No Love Between Us
3. The First Time I Went To Japan
4. “And He Made Three Hundred Shields of Beaten Gold”
5. Child Song
6. “The Eve of St. Marks” (words by John Keats)
7. Aboard The Ship
8. Bells Screaming
9. Lost Dream
10. Bird Carnival
11. Into My Arms (words and music by Nick Cave)

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