“I call it pretty music, but the old people call it Emo…” reads the Facebook intro to these Jacksonville guys and it pretty much hits the nail on the head. The pretty music in question is a flooring blend of shoegazy post rock giving rise to ambient soundscapes and then compounded by screamo, almost post hardcore vocals. In fact, you could throw a number of labels at The Caution Children’s sound, but when you first hit hear this record that isn’t your first concern…it is how on earth are haven’t I heard of them before? From first impressions this is a band that should be well known already.
Opening with pounding drums, layered, euphorically building guitars and haunting screams, reminiscent of London math rockers Silent Front’s vocals, the first track of the album is a fair wager of what is to come. The nature of the beast with such illustrative soundscapes is that there is sometimes a tendency for individual tracks to become lost or roll into one long beautiful evolving song; however The Caution Children here excel. “Safe Crusades – No Judgements – And Baby” contains quite the range of tracks from the calming instrumental ‘Over – Under’ through to the much darker depths of ‘Shouldn’t Have Used Black Magic’, though it is the instantly engaging ‘Secret Kings’ that is the standout on this album for me.
Upbeat with quickly memorable riffs and a positive uplifting feel what’s not to like about this song? And it just sounds like they are having a bloody good time too. Sitting easy at home in your record collection between Touché Amore, Deafhaven, Pianos Become The Teeth etc, this band more than earns its place. An album full of atmospherically textured pieces crafted alongside those powerfully emotive screamed vocals this is “pretty music” indeed.