Air Cav – Don’t Look Indoors

There is a groovy, raga quality to their sound, things can get spacey and tripped out, Here Be Dragons and the extended take on Alliance have something of a stripped down Bunnymen sound.

 

 

Crystalline Records http://www.aircavmusic.co.uk/

 

A rush and a push and the land is ours…

This is some record. Brave, its heart riveted into its sleeve, its swagger that of the skinny guy who’s gonna get pummelled  but  just won’t back down. It’s a fighter’s record, bred of its location and tradition. The huge sound that Air Cav kick up is only dwarfed by the band's own desire and impatience. In terms of sheer “I want it now” ambition and pig-headed determination - Arthur Seaton-style - to win you over regardless of what people may think, there are only Rats on Rafts to compare. Both bands want to lay down the law by literally telling you how they feel, however badly or naively expressed, and both try to express these feelings further with a rich and undulating wall of sound. There’s nothing gauche or mannered here, as you’ll hear in Picking At the Bones.

You could argue that Don't Look Indoors just sounds like a multi-textured exercise in emotional release, and it’s a style of music that needs the listener onside for sure. There’s a ready mix portion of Celtic clarion-call bombast (the opening three tracks are a heady charge downhill) and maudlin tap-room introspection (Exile and Where We’re Supposed to Be). Happily, any inherent portentousness mostly keeps itself for the track titles: with names like So Others May Live or A Call To Arms you’re not far from conjuring up Address on the morning of Agincourt or Battle Hymn for the Republic… But Don't Look Indoors has a lot to offer. You just have to give this record time, despite its accessible nature.

There is a groovy, raga quality to their sound, things can get spacey and tripped out: Here Be Dragons and the extended take on Alliance have something of a stripped down Bunnymen sound – a Bunnymen around the Porcupine LP era – especially when Here be Dragons drops its pace. This quality can help a lot in terms of the listening experience as a whole; as elsewhere the music can trip over itself in its eagerness. I should also say that the reworked single tracks such as Alliance, Branches and Picking at the Bones sit well on the album too; they are more confident and measured, and better for it.

Top track is the magnificent The Way I Think About My Life, where singer Chris Nield manages to get just the right amount of snarling onto the vocals, but holding back his anger and allowing the listener to be seduced by the glistening guitar lines and the rich tones and textures that form a warm, flickering backdrop.  Blind Summit is another highlight: a magnificent and impassioned soapbox address to whoever wants to take the message on board.

This record is a fine one. And you need to give it a few spins.