The Cave Singers

Welcome Joy (Matador)

Phases & Stages

The Cave Singers

Welcome Joy (Matador)

On this Seattle trio's 2007 debut, Invitation Songs, there were no hints of its Northwestern punk history, just damp, pleasing, porch-folk songs that grow as naturally as medicinal marijuana. On its second LP, the group doesn't really try to get up from that porch. Guitarist Derek Fudesco, formerly of Pretty Girls Make Graves, picks his strings carefully, and the addition of vocals by Amber Webber of Black Mountain and Lightning Dust on "Summer Light" give Welcome Joy some levity, since Peter Quirk's ragged vocals become tedious if you're not a fan. After the third track, in fact, you start wondering if it's just one long song. At the end of "Hen of the Woods," the Cave Singers finally start rocking, but it's all too brief. When they revisit that on "I Don't Mind," the Fleetwood Mac vibe wanes after a few minutes. That lack of propulsion makes Welcome Joy something of a sleepwalker. (The Cave Singers inhabit Mohawk with Asobi Seksu and Lightning Dust Saturday, Sept. 26.)

**

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