Crystal Fighters - Cave Rave

‘Cave Rave’ is outlandish, silly, summery and as brilliant as its title.

Label: Zirkulo/PIAS/Atlantic

Rating: 7

Crystal Fighters’ debut, ‘Star Of Love’, was such a unique beast, harbouring all manner of Basque, electronic and dub sounds. The band and the album became one and the same. ‘Cave Rave’ largely builds on the lighter, brighter moments of that debut; as soon as ‘Wave’ kicks off here, it’s about ten degrees warmer outside.

Lyrically, however, it’s pretty head-in-hands; it look a lot to not switch off after ‘let me tell you about a love natural / love that you just can’t help feeling / when feelings with meanings keep appearing’ in ‘Love Actual’. But then this little verse is followed by the chorus and it becomes blindingly obvious that the (lack of) lyrical integrity is so insignificant to the record. Deeper meanings don’t matter when you’re stood in a muddy field with a warm can of cider, screaming ‘We’re on a waaaaaaaave!’

‘Separator’ and ‘Are We One’ recall the dubbier, dirtier moments of ‘Star Of Love’, and the wonderful percussion that defined that record reappears sporadically here. ‘Bridge of Bones’ is so ridiculous it’s almost a parody of a huge pop song, with a key change, fade out and soulful backing vocals in the final chorus. Crystal Fighters make all manner of sounds and ideas that shouldn’t work, work.

‘Cave Rave’ is outlandish, silly, summery and as brilliant as its title, and Crystal Fighters have somehow managed to continue in making their seemingly unattainable mix of traditional instrumentation and ideas and dubby electronics work without disaster.