Album review: Cave Painting - Votive Life

With their pared down but expansive sound, Cave Painting belie their Neanderthal name with a slick debut... but is it passionate enough?

This Brighton five-piece really did shoot for the stars with this debut album of spotlessly produced, expansive yet intimate tunes.

If you’ve heard singles Leaf and Gator you’ll already be familiar with their graceful, electronica-informed guitars and epic-yet-intimate aesthetic.

The previously-released Rio sounds like The XX covering Temper Trap’s Sweet Disposition; an arena-sized, thrusting melody restrained by pared-down guitar and under-inflated dynamics.

There’s an undeniable appeal to So Calm’s swirling ambience and soaring lone guitar, but after a strong start the dream starts to falter.

Singer Adam Kane has an engagingly vulnerable voice that can soar and wilt on command, but it’s missing an emotive edge.

The epic swells of a backing chorus and a stiff-collared drum riff just don’t lift Pair Up into the heavens, either.

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Rather than the gauche and awe-inspiring widescreen feel they were probably aiming for, by the halfway point Votive Life feels a bit pallid and listless.

2 stars