Generally, I wouldn't say I have a problem at all with not understanding the words of a song, or not being able to work them out. Listening to The Cocteau Twins, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunipingu or Rokia Traore is not necessarily about what is being sung but how. You don't need to speak German to enjoy X-Mal Deutschland or learn Italian to love an Opera. Music is a pleasure to listen to if it is good, regardless of its language. I know this, yet... I had quite a big problem with this EP.
Brighton based quintet Cave Painting is being hailed in some quarters as a 'band to watch', 'up and coming' etc. This EP, 'You'll Be Running Soon', is officially the band's debut release proper after their free download of 'Leaf' earlier in the year. Whilst it all sounds very accomplished, well produced and has some very nice qualities to it - not least of which are the soaring harmonies - it is the lead track 'Midnight Love' with which I have an issue.
Having listened to the EP in the car a few times I was possibly guilty of not giving it my full attention. There was nothing wrong with what I was hearing but it wasn't blowing me away. Upon playing it without distraction however is when a realisation dawned on me. Whilst I'm not that good at (the game) 'Hum-Bugs' or, for that matter, guessing the tunes being acted out on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, I do get there in the end. The end here was more in the way of Bob Mortimer letting you know what Vic Reeves has just sung "in the style of a club singer." Adam Kane has indeed got a very 'distinctive' vocal but here, as he repeats the title, he loses the impact of it by stretching and altering the words to the extent that they become almost comical. Vic himself couldn't have done a better job himself.
The remainder of You'll Be Running Soon is made up of 'Our Click Say Yeah', 'Rio' and 'So Calm'. Throughout there are elements of Coldplay (and even Toto!) woven into the tracks of the EP. The percussion is all very precise and tempered; the songs are all very balanced and considered. Each song smoulders rather than ignites and the mood is one of polite restraint. The guitars jangle away, especially well on So Calm, as Andy's voice delicately, with an almost choral quality, delivers a very accomplished vocal. Of the all tracks, it is Rio that catches the ear. The lyrics work well, the music builds nicely and the hooks are memorable for the right reasons.
The four track EP from Cave Painting shows great potential and I'm sure that others out there will find it easier to get past my somewhat picky gripe!