Every Record I Own - Day 198: Cave In Jupiter
Given the circumstances of hitting the Cave In section of my LPs just as their bassist Caleb Scofield passed away, it’s been difficult to muster up my thoughts in a manner that seems appropriate given the gravity of the situation, especially with a record as beloved as Jupiter.
My band Botch became friends with Cave In back in ‘98. Until Your Heart Stops blew my mind, and yet only a year later the band began to eschew the heavier side of their sound to delve into space rock. I remember playing a bunch of shows with them and ISIS in the Pacific Northwest back in the summer of ‘99, and they’d cut all but one or two old songs from their set to make room for songs in the vein of their Creative Eclipses EP. At first I was a little disappointed by the more heady and exploratory rock-oriented nature of the material, but a few months later Botch played a few more shows with them in New England and the songs felt solidified and authoritative. I would see Cave In several more times before Jupiter finally came out, and the songs felt more massive and nuanced with every exposure.
When I finally heard Jupiter, I did have one complaint. The songs were great, but Cave In had become such a tight, refined, and richly layered band that I was expecting this album to have the sonic density of a big budget recording like OK Computer. Instead, Jupiter was a very faithful document of what Cave In sounded like on stage in ‘99, minus any studio embellishments, and that’s impressive in its own right. The album has now gone on to become the fan favorite of the Cave In catalog, though I remember more than a few hardcore kids initially lamenting it’s lack of metal riffs. Listening back now, unencumbered by the baggage of expectations, Jupiter is a stone cold rocker packed full of shimmering atmosphere and unorthodox melody. It’s sophisticated but unafraid of lapsing into force.
Over the next couple of years, Cave In would go on to land a major label deal and score a bunch of big tours, but at the time of Jupiter, they were just a bunch of unassuming Boston kids who kept pushing themselves and reinventing their sounds. They were an inspiration to us all—fearless, ambitious, and disciplined. And through it all, they never ceased to be four down-to-earth, good natured dudes who wanted nothing more than to make music with each other, whether or not anyone else in the world gave a shit.