The Cleveland-based rock group Brain Cave sound perfectly pulverizing on their heavy new album Stuck in the Mud. Many invitingly familiar noisy rock elements are present, and the musicians behind the project have dialed up these components to captivating extremes. From the first couple of tracks onward, the drum hits deliver a crushing cacophony of sound, the super heavy bass lines feel like they’re churning in a pit of quicksand, and the ferociously propulsive, heavy guitar riffing guides the beast of an album along into the murky underbrush that the band sound like they’re falling into headfirst.
Brain Cave perform heavy, noisy rock with the foreboding intensity of sludge metal and the relentless edge of fierce hardcore, all of which they’ve mixed together into the immersive experience of Stuck in the Mud. Listening to the record provides a great, thrilling time.
There’s a really strong sense of melody running through much of the music, even if those melodies feel at least partly consumed by the sheer physical intensity of the songs. The captivating, heavy melodic riffing feels like it helps hold the album together, in a sense; it’s a foothold that listeners can step onto before getting whisked away into the rest of the album’s fiercely heavy blasts of energy. The melodies pop up when the music slows down a bit — comparatively speaking — at moments like towards the conclusion of the track “Night Work” and in the opening segments of the song “Country.”
The groove on this album is awesome. The heavy yet immensely captivating sense of groove runs throughout this record and really feels like a captivating flourish. Sometimes, like on the comparatively slower, contemplation-laced “Salt Lick,” it stands on its own, and sometimes, like towards the end of “Bar Seat No. 1” and elsewhere, it gets swept along with a cacophony of pummeling drum blasts, as if huge craters are getting blasted in the earth in some already rundown, mud-ridden environment. These elements cohesively and powerfully flow into and out of one another throughout Stuck in the Mud, which features a lot of leaps from softer into more caustic textures across its runtime.
Ultimately, the record provides an awesome, chest-thumping listening experience and a whole lot of intriguing musical prowess to sink into.
Check out the music below!