Following the unfortunate demise of Pretty Girls Make Graves in 2007, bassist Derek Fudesco abandoned the kick ass punk of his former band, in favour of alternative folk. The second album from the Seattle group The Cave Singers has all the same charms and allures as its predecessor, but in turn, all the same drawbacks.
'Welcome Joy' is packed full of the same sweetly plucked, rhythmic acoustic guitar music that characterised their 2007 debut, 'Invitation Songs'. Its title is appropriate, as the tone is all warmth and exultation, but it's when 'Welcome Joy' comes out of its soft folk niche that it excels.
'At The Cut' is the standout track, simply because it breaks the Cave Singer mould, electrifying and distorting its guitar line to create attitude and conviction. That's not to say there aren't exceptional moments of a more jubilant nature. The countryish harmonica of 'Leap', the clippity-clop percussion of 'Hen of the Woods' and the sumptuous harmonies of 'Townships' are all worthy of a genuine smile.
The problem with 'Welcome Joy' is the problem The Cave Singer have always had. The songs lack structure, and tend to ramble, leaving it as little more than background music.