Sunday, September 21; Mississippi Nights

Cave-In is a stellar band, both literally and metaphorically. By taking the crunchy aggression of metal and the melody of emo, adding textures and tricks and then turning the whole thing inside out, they have created a unique yet recognizable sound. Rather than focusing inward, as so many artists of the art metal genre do, Cave-In reaches for the cosmos, even going so far as to title their best album to date Jupiter. Astro-core adventurers and interplanetary pioneers, through the course of their career they had become something akin to a punk rock Pink Floyd.

Unfortunately, Cave-In's recent recorded work has been spotty at best. Since moving up to the major labels, it has suppressed its penchant for eight-minute sonic explorations in favor of attempts at making radio-friendly unit shifters. While the band certainly can't be faulted for wanting to swim in the stream of commerce, the results have bordered somewhere between bland and boring. Touring behind their most recent album, Antenna, the band has crisscrossed the country several times, both with this summer's Lollapalooza and on their own. With any luck, the experience will have made the band much looser and more willing to invest the new material with the same spirit that made the old stuff so amazing.

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