Cave In - Jupiter
Hydra Head
Atmospheric Alt-Rock
8 songs (44:19)
Release year: 2000
Hydra Head
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

It’s hard to define ‘selling-out’ without sounding like the most grumpy and unrelentingly dull music fan in existence, so let’s skip over whether or not Cave In actually ‘sold out’ or ‘progressed’ by switching from technical Dillinger Escape Plan-esque hardcore to ‘emo-metal Radiohead’, as one magazine described them. Instead, let’s focus on what their second full-length actually sounds like. Think of this as the band embracing their Space Rock influences and moving towards the sound of Isis – admittedly, a rather more commercial and song-based Isis than the grumpy beast unleashing Celestial at the time. Still, it’s not hard to hear the crashing and banging music as distinctly placed in that camp, at times the band sounding like a very laid back Cult Of Luna. People who have heard this album will know that it has a worse reputation than it deserves – despite Stephen’s voice being high, it’s hardly the sort of thing that you’d think of as emo-ish.

True, the band’s following album Antenna would go even further from their roots, an uplifting hard rock sound gaining them tour time with Foo Fighters before they decided they wanted heaviness again. Yet I never found it hard to like Jupiter, chiefly because the songwriting is so stellar. The opening title track bursts in with a drum roll, a reasonably heavy production making the guitars big and boomy for what is very much an intro track, although you don’t realise until a way into the track. Melodic, uplifting and catchy, it’s the band at their best, and one of the more straightforward moments on an interestingly experimental listen. The following In The Stream Of Commerce is more dainty and psychedelic at first, strummed guitars and high vocals over backing electronic noises before going anthemic and rocking. Big Riff is probably the heaviest track present, crashing drums and the only screams on the album contributing to an uplifting song that’s as much about the troughs as it is the peaks.

My favourite track on the album is the quirkily-titled Innuendo And Out The Other, however. It’s the most Radiohead-y track present, laid-back and melancholic with a nice hint of prog structure, post-rock melody and wonderful choral ‘aah’ing. It’s certainly the highlight for me, the following Brain Candle a bit of a letdown in comparison despite being a great track in its own right, and to be honest I often stop the album there. Yet listening hard for this review, it’s hard to criticise the nine-minute Requiem, which keeps a tight grip on the melody and makes victory from what others would leave a repetitive mess. You can nearly say the same thing about Decay Of The Delay, but it goes on just a little too long and always leaves me slightly disappointed, despite being a fine atmospheric piece.

Rediscovering Cave In after they went out of fashion/on hiatus a few years ago has been an interesting experience. It’s a shame that they never quite seemed to get as popular as they deserve, in either the above or underground realms, yet the albums are out there for reinspection and new material is on the horizon. I’m not sure that I’d call Jupiter my favourite release of the band, but it certainly contains some of their best songs, and deserves a go if you’re in the mood for something melodic and uplifting.

Killing Songs :
Jupiter, In The Stream Of Commerce, Big Riff, Innuendo And Out The Other , Requiem, New Moon
Goat quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Cave In that we have reviewed:
Cave In - Perfect Pitch Black reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Cave In - Antenna reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Cave In - Until Your Heart Stops reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
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