A name like the Cave Girls implies a certain stripped-back aesthetic, promising a Spartan style of rock without any unnecessary frills.
The Cave Girls deliver on that promise with their eponymous first EP, which packs all the power of their live shows. It’s vocals with bass and drums and loud, distorted guitar. Guitarist and singer Robin Campbell sounds like Donita Sparks from L7 in leopard skin. Sara Teasley hits drums harder than a caveman and keeps beat perfectly while sharing in the vocal duties. Stephanie Williams’ bass makes you want to get up and dance. And hooks. There are plenty of hooks.
The sound is a definite throwback to the ’60s. It’s the kind of music that puts you in a good mood, whether you want to be or not.
In the first song, “The Cave Girls Theme,” they state their purpose: “If you want some fun, come out and get undone.” At 5:29, it’s the EP’s longest track. Teasley’s drumming and Williams’ bass keep the song driving forward, and Campbell’s guitar style is reminiscent of the Troggs: Simple chord progressions that stick with you long after the song has ended.
The band is at its best on the second track, “I Wanna See the Band.” Campbell, a veteran of Kansas City’s the Last Call Girls, shows off her country influences in a tale of a rock fan who wants to start her own band. Harmonies show off the band’s vocal talent as Campbell and Teasley each takes a turn on the lead vocals. The Teasley-Williams rhythm builds in intensity, ending in a two-chord climax that’s sure to make garage-rock fans want to go out and pick up guitars of their own.
The only twist comes on “Happy Home,” a catchy enough song with moody lyrics like “I really wish you’d go away” and “Why don’t you just leave me alone?” It’s an odd juxtaposition with the happy-go-lucky fare of the rest of the EP.
But the Cave Girls get their groove back with “Faster,” ending the way they started — stripped down and ready to rock.
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