Album Review: Crystal Fighters – Cave Rave

Katt Parkins 14 May 2013

Teeming with brightness and surging with optimism, Crystal Fighters’ sophomore album Cave Rave contains a vast spectrum of summer sounds. The album fluctuates between an understated sincerity and an effervescent rhythmic vibrancy.

By incorporating a plethora of musical cultures, including the Basque txalaparta, the Bolivian charango, and African musical legends, Crystal Fighters maintain a glorious diversity of sounds and prevent themselves from becoming bound to one particular genre or collection of instruments. In comparison to their preceding album, Star of Love, this effort is more lyrically-centred and has a much lighter sound; the band have shed the heavier dance influences which made them a hit at Reading Festival’s dance tent in 2011.

Cave Rave is more artistically coherent than its predecessor, but this coherence sometimes masks some of the more interesting aspects of Crystal Fighters’ music. The band’s solemnity is heartfelt and yet un-experimental in how settled it is. Despite the album’s multitudinous brightness, its buoyancy often borders upon idealism.

Katt Parkins