The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Shoegaze, grunge rock meet up in Gardner

By Linnea Dolph

Spanning a range of popular genres, Gardner Lounge has energetic acts lined up all weekend, with indie rock bands Caveman on Saturday and Mikal Cronin on Sunday, with opening act Elusive Parallelograms.

Caveman is coming off of their first headlining tour that included a stop at the ever hipster-chic SXSW to promote their new self-titled album. In a departure from their earlier work, Caveman has been incorporating more vocals and synth sounds as opposed to earlier albums, which explored and combined many different genres, such as Latin jazz and modern polka, in a more instrumental style.

Many of their songs have a quality that is reminiscent of artists such as The Doors and Santana. A sense of sound evolution can be heard in each new album the band releases, quickly becoming more polished without losing the experimentation of their older EPs.

“I think we’ve just been playing music with each other a lot more and just—our brains connected a lot more. The initial idea we were all talking about was just to get a little less of a blurred line between everything,” said Caveman in an interview with

“Caveman is more of shoegazey kind of grunge rock, which are really awesome shows in Gardner just because of the space, and the music can get really, really loud,” said SGA Concerts Chair Moira Donovan ’14. “We, [Concerts], take into account more than what we personally like. We really try to focus on what is going on in music, how the campus will receive the show, what the other acts are and what genres are being presented.”

Performing the following night, Mikal Cronin has a flow similar to his fellow Merge Record company band, Neutral Milk Hotel. Cronin combines the unlikeliest of instruments together, like his use of a flute over an electric guitar riff in his song “Is It Alright,” in order to create a unique harmony. Two extremes of life and sound are explored in his two different albums, deconstructing previous ideas and beginning anew.

Opening act Elusive Parallelograms’ music reflects a modern, fast-paced life. They stick to their band motto of “everything changes” and incorporate it into every aspect of their music.

“Their two LPs and three EPs are where power pop meets shoegaze meets brainy prog … meets metal pounding on metal, sometimes all on the same track,” according to the band’s website.

Their recently released EP, “Fragments,” evokes memories of El Ten Eleven and Third Eye Blind. While this frenzied sound is a nice parting from the same old top 40’s played seemingly everywhere, the transitions do not flow as smoothly as some would prefer. However, in-song progression is made with such quality that the change from fast instrumentals to soft vocals is less harsh. It doesn’t stop you from wanting the next dramatic technique change.

Ellusive Parallelograms is coming off of a Summerfest appearance in their home state of Wisconsin.

They were formed at Marquette University in 2005 as a small jam group on campus who took their practices one step further.

“Aside from dreams of platinum records, Elusive Parallelograms are going to spend the rest of the year on the road as much as humanly possible and will also have a couple new releases before the end of 2013,” according to a band interview with Alternative Press.

“Right after I booked [Mikal Cronin], there was just a song I was listening to by him on repeat … what I’m trying to say is that I’m just pumped for all of these bands,” Donovan said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *