Cavalier – How To Grow Your Brain
Release Date: June 6, 2008
Record Label: Unsigned
Hot Damn! Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce to you one of my favorite unsigned bands of the year, Cavalier. This band resides from Tacoma, Washington, and their debut full length, How To Grow Your Brain, is already out in the internet airwaves. For those of you who have heard them before from their highly underrated debut EP, Your Honest Answer, congratulations, you get to hear this band enter their new era. For those who haven't, keep reading.This trio prides themselves in playing some of the most straight forward, heartfelt music you can find these days. You will find yourself humming along to songs long after you turn them off, and you wont hate yourself for doing it either. Let me tell you more reasons why I personally am making an effort to brainwash you into buying this, or at least illegally download this and support them by buying a t-shirt.
The record begins with the soft, steady tempoed "Promontory", which wastes no time introducing the smooth youthful-sounding voice of Stephen Lloyd, which you will begin to love after only a few tracks. Guitarist Jacob Gosselin and drummer Sammy Franklin aren't too far behind in that effect both contributing parts that make you want to bob your head. Also, Shane Henderson of Valencia helps Lloyd on vocals during the chorus. Next up we have "The Outsiders" which shows some of the bands best stuff and introduces you to the sounds of what could be their influences, bands like Jimmy Eat World, Straylight Run, and The Format run through my mind. A few tracks later, you'll hear "Do Me A Favor", which is where most of you will begin to see what I mean about the mesmerizing voice of Lloyd, it's genius is definitely in its simplicity. It should also be noted that the guys from Four Year Strong do some guest vocals and "Whoa-oh's" on the track.
The brightest spot on this record is definitely the joyful "Honeybees", which begins with some foot stomping(also done by the FYS guys) and some of my favorite lyrics on the record, "I'm pickin' up the roots from under the wheel/ Gonna find something that I can feel/ It's gonna rain/ Yeah, I'm sick of the sun", and "Oh, Honeybees, I always wanted to be free/ Of Money, and greed". The acoustic "We'll All Answer To Jesus" doesn't really have that religious of an undertone as the title might say. It's a song about someone who i'm assuming got stood up and has some angry lyrics you just want to say to people sometimes. "I'm gonna fall asleep watching the news tonight/ Maybe you crashed your car on the highway/ That would be your only alibi/ The only reason that you never arrived". It's also a good time to check out Gosselin's backup vocals, which are just as intriguing as Lloyds. It also gives Gosselin a chance to do some nice little parts on the guitar and Franklin brings some mad cowbell. As we venture further into the effort, you will hear other bright spots (but honestly it's one giant bright spot to me). Songs like "What Good Intentions Are" which bleeds right into another song i've found myself humming to "Jaybird" (no pun intended). Not to mention the mild mannered "Stop The Time", which is destined to be another track you'll be loving.
The thing about this record is that while the lyrics aren't very complex, they're not cheesy either. They're simple and mesh well with the music. This record has withheld the test of time so far, after arguably 30 listens or so, i'm not bored. How To Grow Your Brain is a record that will end up being way up there on my list at the end of the year, and i'm expecting to be hearing more about this band in the near future. With the Seattle scene blowing up once again, record labels, i'm calling you out. You should sign this band, they're talented, young, and they're (hopefully) here to stay.