Cavity

On the Lam

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    9
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Over the years, Florida's mysterious Cavity has recorded very sporadically and for a succession of poorly distributed independent labels, making the band's albums almost instant collector's pieces -- not only for their rarity, of course, but also due to the group's unique take on stoner metal. The members of Cavity don't so much compose music as harness feedback. Exercises in organized chaos, their songs are barely cognizant of traditional rock & roll structures and utterly ignorant of commercial aspirations. In fact, most of Cavity's best moments arrive unexpectedly midway through a song, and are over before you know it. Yet here lies the band's appeal. Possibly the first album ever to use feedback as a recurring musical theme, 2001's On the Lam features songs that start and finish for no apparent reason, fading into nothing or each other to comprise a gloriously disorganized whole. Case in point: At eight and a half minutes, the first track, "Cult Exciter," could really be considered three songs welded together. Kicked off by a pummeling riff and a bout of hysterical, distorted vocals, it shifts gears midsong to unleash an even more violent and monolithic new riff, then descends into an incredibly heavy Sabbath-inspired grind, and, finally, the aforementioned "feedback theme." Lengthy numbers like "Pulling Up Stakes," "Leave Me Up," and the title track follow suit, but the album also makes room for more straightforward headbanging, as heard on "Boxing the Hog" and "Sung From a Goad." The frightening intensity of "Willy Williams" somehow offers the best (or worst, depending on your feelings so far) of both worlds, while cryptic closer "9" simply drones away in hypnotizing fashion before eventually fading away and bringing this remarkable album to an inauspicious end. A dense, difficult work to digest, On the Lam leaves a lasting first impression nonetheless, and lovers of unpredictable, unorthodox, and -- of course -- extremely heavy music will be instantly converted to Cavity's cause.

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