Raquy and the Cavemen Jordan

Raquy and the Caveman continue their mission to frame the tricky grooves of the Middle East within head banging arrangements. Jordan builds on their first album Dust by enlarging the band, the reverb and the ambition behind the songs. The title track starts with Liron Peled’s Houses of the Holy-inspired guitar line, which is joined by to the mournful kemenche, or Iranian fiddle, then a slowly descending bass line. It never fully crosses over into anthemic status because of the microtonal scales involved, instead achieving a very interesting balance between soothing and threatening. You may recognise the power chords — after all, the great Dick Dale’s surf sound drew from similar scales — but the Cavemen thoroughly update any hard rock clichés with fundamentally different instrumentation and far greater incorporation of their influences. Another dimension to this album is the subtle and sympathetic playing of Daphna Mor on recorders, who brings a touch of Balkan influence to several tracks including the traditional Bulgarian tune "Sandansko,” which contains the hardest hitting 22 beat cycle released so far this year. Jordan may not be head and shoulders above its predecessor, but sees the band come together more as a unit. (Meef)