Apr 112023

These days the phrase “catch and kill” has connotations of schemes to buy up embarrassing news about bloated political figures and then bury it. But it’s also a phrase that leaped into our heads when listening to Cave Moth‘s new EP Paralytic Love. This time it’s us that are being caught and killed. The catching employs lures of different kinds that are damned difficult to resist. The killing occurs in equally ingenious (one might also say aberrant) ways.

The whole experience, though separated into 8 tracks, comes to an abrupt end less than 8 minutes after it begins. It seems longer, like there’s some time-dilation effect happening, maybe because it’s so packed to the gills with mad, head-spinning permutations — which become the lures. The songs rush and rampage with centrifugal force, but simultaneously bamboozle the listener’s higher faculties with the whipping whirligig of genres and sounds that feed into the chaos.

We’ve got to be careful not to spill out a volume of words that will take longer to read than it takes to listen to Paralytic Love. Difficult as it is to throttle our own verbosity, we’ll limit our reactions to three addled paragraphs.

As for the killing, the slaughter takes the form of abrasively distorted and discordant riffs that sometimes sound like berserk excavation machines chewing through granite, but the guitars also convulse in a multitude of freaked-out, screaming seizures. Couple that with light-speed drum mania, turbocharged bass contortions, monstrous growls, choked-out gagging, and blood-spraying screams, and you get a lesson in violence at its most well-armed and delirious.

But you’ll also be subjected to brutish sonic jackhammers working at variable speeds, methodically knee-capping drum-work, bursts of start-stop belligerence that throw you off balance, and digressions into soul-sucking bleakness and abject agony.

As for what makes Paralytic Love alluring, well it’s actually the killing itself that’s part of the appeal, but on top of that are the doses of rapidly swirling and blurting fretwork, eruptions of siren-like blaring, schizophrenic vocal cacophonies, and brief moments when the bass gets to grumble at you by itself, like an old man who’s really disappointed in what he sees (one of those moments is a head-fake that might make you think the EP is over, right before one last eye-watering episode of hyper-violence).

Well, now you know how freely Cave Moth have pulled from diverse wellsprings of mathcore, grindcore, hardcore, and all sorts of death metal to make this EP. But we ought to also share the band’s own words about it:

Paralytic Love was conceived of as a pandemic project in a span of about 3 and a half weeks. We knew we wanted to write some neo-grind tunes and I personally wanted to keep it straightforward and heavy while not sacrificing that modern dissonant, math-y, and deathgrind influenced sound. We’ve all been pretty involved in east coast hardcore and metal and we all move around the same circles online (especially in the mathcore stuff) so it was a nice and smooth, yet lengthy process.”

We also can’t help but quote this “About the Band” section from the promo materials we got. You’ll see why.

Conceived in The Google Campus Human Resources Office, Cave Moth is a collective of celestial sovereign citizens that began in the early 2010s in Florida with a focus on pulling influences from everything and nothing, existing as a vacuum that willingly absorbed aggressive music spanning brutal death metal, grindcore, post-hardcore, and screamo; the musical offerings and live performances have developed an uncanny sound with an eclectic barrage of arhythmic and off-time riffs that jolt as much as soothe.

After some sexual experimentation and a couple of military deployments in Afghanistan, noise music and free jazz influences were incorporated. They then soon began dabbling in online videography and performance art collaborations, adding yet another layer of chaos to an oeuvre that borders on what is known as “incestual-metropolitan psychedelia”. An often overlooked aesthetic movement from 1960s Tunisia. The undertaking, in their words, “hopes to offer everything that is intrinsic to art, writing, film, and sound; an adventure into psychologically overwhelming weirdo-perspectives filled with dissonant hardcore and metal, video irony, and genocidal ego death.”

The Cave Moth lineup for Paralytic Love is: Dan Wolfson – Vocals (Snarling, Voidbloom); Daniel Quinn – Guitar/Drum Programming; and Brian O’Leary – Bass (ex-Ritualistic, ex-Rotting Phallus).

The record is up for digital pre-order now. The band have announced that all pre-sale orders from the US and Canada will receive a random t-shirt, a random sticker from the gig bag, plus the digital download on the day of release. After that, they’ll give away the music for free. Be nice and throw some money their way while you can. It might help us get more of this madness sooner rather than later.



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