Vol.2 by Cavalli

Release date: January 10, 2017
Label: Self-Released

This band is testament to the fact that people who like music should go out and see bands. I know how it is: work, family, ennui, inertia all get in the way – but given that venues are closing down quicker than Internet cafes (remember them?) it is in our best interests to keep them full of warm bodies. Because there is always the chance you come across a band like Cavalli, like I did just before Christmas in 2016. I bought their first EP on the train ride home. My only disappointment was that it didn’t contain some of the songs I had heard earlier that drizzly night.

So I was very glad to hear that they have released a second EP – and it is even better than the first. Cavalli are a three-piece from Deptford, south-east London and they claim they are “an anti-fascist band who play rock ‘n’ roll”. So that’s already two points in their favour, before the jaw harp introduces ‘Daniel Soteldo’, the opener on this release.

The song is most definitely rock ‘n’ roll, in a punkish stonery way, with some intricate riffery over the top of some proper, foot-to-the-floor rhythm section, topped off by rasping vocals from Edu, who also wields the Stratocaster. Edu appears to bark out commands (the vocals are difficult to make out, or it could be me – I’ve always had trouble discerning all but the most simple of lyrics. I blame the Ramones) before saying breathlessly “hey guys… I’m sorry” at the end. It’s a great start to proceedings.

‘You Fuckin’ Racist’ is easy enough to work out, however: the title is also the entire quotient of lyrics, shouted repeatedly, with anger and conviction, throughout a punk blast of a little under two minutes. They clearly have something to get off their chest.

It is worth mentioning at this juncture that the band is two-thirds Italian and one-third Spanish, but they got together in London. What they and many other citizens of the European Union must be thinking since the UK voted to leave Europe – and potentially leave them and millions of other residents and their families with no right to remain where they have made their home – is anybody’s guess.

Sorry, back to the music. ‘Latin Stallions’ is an instrumental which begins with another bout of riffage, but then suddenly opens out into an atmospheric solo, bringing to mind the likes of Yawning Man, albeit if the desert rock legends had witnessed their inspiring sunsets from Catford rather than Coachella. ‘The Cage’ starts with a discussion about how the chorus should sound, ending with one apologising to “Chris”, which presumably is Chris Mansell, who did a great job of producing the band. The song itself is a mid-tempo stomp and is of the orthodox verse-chorus-verse variety reminiscent of an early Queens of the Stone Age number.

Then just as you think that things have gone all radio-friendly, ‘SMM’ creeps into your ears, with some more laconic desert sounds. Over its eight minutes it noodles, weaves and bobs through some dark and light patches, before reaching a satisfyingly loud and riff-laden climax.

It is a great way to end the EP and whets our appetite for what the band may do next. In the meantime, if you live in London, make a point of seeing them. They play often. You’ll be glad you did. If you don’t live in London, buy this EP (it only costs one pound) and you’ll wish you lived closer.

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