Welcome JoyAlbum | The Cave Singers By T. Cole Rachel
Lovely, albeit somewhat forgettable, alt-country musings.
Fans of The Cave Singers’ 2007 debut, Invitation Songs, will find much to like with its gently pastoral follow-up. As a matter of fact, Welcome Joy is to an unsettling extent almost indistinguishable from its predecessor, chock full of back porch strum-alongs and warm, twangy odes to summertime and rambling roads. Unfortunately, the album's easy breezy production and gently loping tunes suffer from a certain sameness. Individual tracks like “Summer Light” and “Hen of the Woods” are nothing if not absolutely lovely, not to mention surprisingly restrained considering the punk rock pedigree of the musicians involved, including former members of Pretty Girls Make Graves and Murder City Devils. But taken as a whole, the record works better as evocative background music than anything else. Two albums in, the Cave Singers have certainly proven themselves capable of producing a specifically pretty brand of Americana. Here’s hoping that next time they can harness that vibe to some equally dynamic tunes.