This Boston foursome inspired one of the finest and funniest bits of rock writing I've ever read Carly Carioli's ecstatic piece from a July '99 Boston Phoenix
. Among the forces driving Carioli and the band's burgeoning cult to flights of rapture is Cave In's supposed practice of changing styles with each album, from calculus-core to foppish acoustica to this new one, which sounds like the emo flavor-of-the-month high on Rush. Personally, I don't think that's such a long distance, and won't until they ditch the guitars they'll die worshipping. Still, it's refreshing to hear a band this young, indie and boyish relinquish its musical principles so readily clearly they're less about pledging allegiance and more about simply making themselves heard. It works the album looks grotesque on paper (presto-change-o prog structures, "Tom Sawyer" keybs, meticulous, oversaturated production) but immediately sounds fetching (before the second half bogs down into dirge, that is). The huge, cavernous guitar effects reinforce the melodic lines, alternately pompous and generous, and Stephen Brodsky's off-putting shifts into falsetto grow more subtle with each listen. One way or another, they're gonna grab your ear.