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    [ Don Caballero ]

    Singles Breaking Up Vol. I

      Don Caballero - Singles Breaking Up Vol. I  
    First appeared in the Rowan College Whit 04.11.98

    Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pa., Don Caballero's music is definitely a product from guys familiar with that town's steel industry. The band lays down slabs of thick, burrowing, concrete sound. Foregoing vocals, the band creates jarringly tense and dense music that slowly bums until it engulfs everything in its path.

    Don Caballero's sound is an amalgam of early '80s U.S. hardcore/punk bands, drawing on Big Black, Mission of Burma, Scratch Acid, metal influence Black Flag and others. Not being bound by its influences, however, Don Cab has matured at a steady rate over the course of three albums.

    After last year's What Burns Never Returns, Don Cab shows both new and old fans alike how far it has come with Singles Breaking Up Vol. I (on Touch&Go), a collection of all the band's early singles along with some new material.

    Don Cab starts its assault with "Lucky Father Brown," which like a lot of the band's early material, has a melodic, punky feel.

    The guitar harmonic of "Belt Sweater," for example, are similar to Atomitizer-era Big Black.

    The band gives a lesson in the proper use of tension and rhythmic dynamics on "Unresolved Kharma." Grating guitars crash and fall around drumming that has the tribal feel of Janes Addiction's Steve Perkins and the mainmoth roar of John Bonham.

    The band hits a high point with the chilly, devastating trilogy of "My Ten Year Old Lady Is Giving It Away," "Our Caballero" and "ANDANDANDANDAND." "My Ten Year Old" creeps up with raucous Black Sabbath riffing and hyper kick drumming before a slow-groove bassline takes command.

    "Our Caballero" pummels with its double bass drum pedal workout. Halfway through, the guitars explode in a screeching frenzy of wails. The disciplined and tight pays homage to Helmet's distinctive bombasticness.

    Don Cab's relentless riffing is the band's strength, but at times it serves as its weak link. The band has learned to curb its tendency to hammer out one jagged shroud after another by placing more emphasis on jamming and groove. This progression is perfectly documented on Singles. As the album unfolds the songwriting and arranging deeps and matures. Singles is a nice way to jump into Don Cab's music for the new fan and is simpler than trying to find all of the band's singles.

    Written By: Paul B.