by Max Freedman (@anticlimaxwell)
Three releases in, Professor Caveman remains an act in flux. Frontman and chief creative Rob Romano launched the band as a power trio in 2013, when he was going on his sophomore year at Rutgers New Brunswick’s Mason Gross School of the Arts. A temporary fizzle—Romano’s initial bassist and drummer quit the band just as it rocketed to the center of New Brunswick’s wellspring of a music community—sure didn’t stop him; just last month, the well-established second rendition of Professor Caveman opened a hometown show with nationally followed acts Fond Han and Kal Marks. The lineup that completed this Professor Caveman setup—Shawn Fitzgerald (bass) and Shannon Moore (drums) of Eagle Daddy, whose “Staircase” Post-Trash premiered in January—has regularly floored New Brunswick for nearly three years now, but with Fitzgerald on the outs to focus on his own creative efforts, Professor Caveman is returning to the fluid state it found itself in upon its arrival. What better time to release a new EP? Post-Trash is thrilled to be premiering Professor Caveman’s Vol. 3 below, which will be available for purchase tomorrow, when Fitzgerald plays his last show with Romano, on the band’s Bandcamp.
Even though Fitzgerald is moving on, he and Moore are Romano’s musical backbone on Vol. 3, an EP that attests to another flux in the project: its sound. This newest collection continues Professor Caveman’s gradual path away from its foundational mayhem to a more relaxed, cozy sort of lo-fi psychedelia. “Tappy Tappy Bling Bling” casts the finger-tapped madness of past Professor Caveman efforts in newfound sweetness and comfort; “Lemon Water” sprays a humid sloth over the project’s surf upbringing; “Brandon” dips its toes into Cryptograms-era Deerhunter psychedelia. None of this would be possible without some extra friends contributing trombone, trumpet, and guest vocals, all new elements for Romano’s art; most notable are Johnnycola’s keyboards on “Lemon Water” and “Vaseline,” since this fellow New Brunswick artist is among Romano’s newest full-time additions to Professor Caveman. Other fresh recruits include Ian Kensalaar (bass) and John Nunez (guitar), with new blood entering as old mainstays depart. The project works like a perpetual circle of life; in both membership and sound, Professor Caveman’s signature is stabilizing chaos. If only the world at large could take some cues.
Professor Caveman’s Vol. 3 is out May 19, and the band will celebrate with two New Brunswick shows; June tour dates have also been announced.
05/18 - New Brunswick, NJ @ ask a punk
05/19 – New Brunswick, NJ @ ask a punk
06/23 – Philadelphia, PA
06/24 – Washington, DC
06/25 – Newark, DE @ Temple of Sludge