December 3, 2014
by Paul Blest

(photo: Gabrielle Elizabeth Photography)

The trouble with Philadelphia is that there’s an over-saturation of solid musical acts, so much so that a lot of good records by up-and-coming bands don’t get the deserved amount of attention that helped bands like Modern Baseball and The Menzingers grow when they were first gaining a following. The trouble with the indie-tinged emo wave we’re currently seeing is that no one is making music like David Bazan.

The overlap in this Venn diagram is Cave People, a new project by Scranton transplant David Tomaine, that lives right in the flesh of that late ‘90s/early 2000s Northwest folky/alternative rock scene that produced Pedro The Lion, Elliott Smith and early Death Cab For Cutie. “Lather” on their debut EP Older displays this knack for rainy songwriting with quivering vocals that buck the “singer-songwriter” trend by throwing the vocals front and center only when the situation calls for it. And to top it all off, there’s a hint of a sad country aesthetic in songs like “Knot” and closer “Burnin’” that are more than a little reminiscent of Chamberlain’s The Moon, My Saddle without delving into sappy territory. And considering that this is Tomaine’s first offering under the Cave People moniker, there’s promise here for Tomaine to rise above the crowd of talented Philly bands and carve a real niche for himself. Older is undoubtedly a good start for that. 

You can stream the whole thing below, and pre-order the cassette from Stereophonodon here.