Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Sept. 29, 2006
The Best Version of "Gloria' Ever There Was (Business Deal)
Cavedweller is Dirk Michener, who doesn't hail from a cave but rather the Denton area, where he was instrumental in co-founding the now-Austin-based Business Deal Records. In the tradition of the label's lo-fi bedroom recording aesthetic, Michener's new LP fuses psych with pop, much like 2004's Sugary Glue and a Bow of Bees. Acoustic opener "A Horse and a Man" paves the way for the blues explosion of "Augusta, Ga," while "Can't Cook Down" is pure pop as Michener sings about vomiting Captain Morgan's. Sebadoh? Sure. The Violent Femmes? A little. Mostly, though, Gloria is concerned with folk's dusty past (check "It's All Over, David Blue"). On "I'm Retired": "I live by the highway; it stretches on forever." And later: "I'm only 22, and I don't mind dying. I have a cobra around my neck for style." The harmonies are beautiful. "Eyez" is another standout, with its bizarre Fifties love swoon ("Don't you know you have pinkeye, little girl?"), and the handclap swagger of "Black Black Magic" is totally T. Rex, especially when the electric guitar comes in and melts faces. "Steppingwolfe" is the most vibeadelic, all strumming strings and droned vocals.