In the suburbs of Melbourne, local band William’s Cave recently released their third EP The Universe is in Your Head. I enjoyed their last EP, so when I heard about this one, I endeavoured to review it.
Before we go any further, I need to add a …
Disclaimer: The members of William’s Cave are personal friends of mine, and as such, saw this review before publication. However, the review was written independently, with nominal input, and is presented here without alteration.
William’s Cave is a small but talented band from Melbourne who, as stated above, I know personally. Their music varies widely, but they traditionally veer towards psychedelic and prog rock, with splashes of folk and pop rock. The lineup of the band has varied a bit over the years, but at its core “William’s Cave” has always meant the Brinkley brothers: Dom and Pat. The two have been writing and recording music as “William’s Cave” since 2014. In that time, they have played over 30 gigs, and released 3 EPs. I really enjoyed their last EP Orange Sun, which was released in 2016. In the last few months, they released a new one, The Universe is in Your Head, and that’s what I will be reviewing here.
As with my other album reviews, I’ve listed previous William’s Cave songs each track reminds me of (with the EP they come from), a rank for each track on this EP, as well as a few comments about each track. Plus there’s an overview of the EP as a whole at the bottom.
1. The Universe is in Your Head
Reminds me of: Roadtripping [Orange Sun], Echo Through The Mountains [Reflections & Perceptions]
Rank on this album: 3
The Universe is in Your Head is the highest energy track on this EP, yet also the shortest. There is constantly so much going on, and the song moves through so many moods. The majority is dominated by a quick, plinky guitar riff, with a light, upbeat rock feel. The track opens with a quote from Stephen Hawking, which fits the theme, but feels out of place to me. A jubilant chorus kicks in towards the end, and the song closes with an organ solo, both of which I really enjoyed.
2. Dump No Waste (Flows to Sea)
Reminds me of: Breathe With Me [Orange Sun]
Rank on this album: 2
Dump No Waste is an upbeat track with a light rock feel, along the lines of The Eagles. But this carefree tone sits in contrast to the ecological message of the song. At first this seems like an odd decision, but it actually works well, and makes sense given that according to Dom, another message of the song is “not to spread this pointless negativity into the world”. The chorus is catchy but, like many spots in the lyrics, can get a bit too wordy for singing along.
3. New Start Ahead
Reminds me of: Water’s Edge [Orange Sun], For the Circus [Reflections & Perceptions]
Rank on this album: 4
New Start Ahead is a mellow, soothing track, which relies heavily on its vocals, with only a fairly sparse piano and guitar backing. The gruff main vocals are well contrasted with a female voice, which provides a much-needed lightness in parts. Unfortunately, that contrast also emphasises how out of time with everything else the main vocals often are throughout the song. It’s not by much, but enough to notice and bother me. This song has both a piano break, and an acoustic guitar & vocal bridge.
Reminds me of: Railway [Reflections & Perceptions]
Rank on this album: 1
Waitomo is a heartfelt ballad sung by the other Brinkley brother, Pat, whose tone is less gruff and more buttery. The song has a vaguely Celtic folk song feel, with prominent use of bamboo flute throughout, which actually sounds more like a violin at some points.
The Universe is in Your Head is a solid addition to the William’s Cave catalogue. However, if you are new to William’s Cave, I highly recommend you go listen to Orange Sun, because it is a more complete, cohesive EP and better introduction to the band. That EP set a high bar for this one to live up to, and unfortunately it doesn’t quite get there. That isn’t to say that TUIIYH isn’t good; there are a number of stand-out moments, such as the latter half of the title track, as well as basically the whole of Waitomo.
According to Dom, this EP is “a collection of positive energy in an ever-changing world, where cynicism and nihilism seems to be the norm”, and with that in mind I think it fulfils its goal fairly well. This also goes some way to explaining the folksy, light rock approach of this EP. It shows strength in a band, and their songwriting, to be able to vary their style to match the objectives of each release. It also shows a willingness to continue experimenting and searching for, not just a comfortable sound but, something unique.
RATING: 7/10 – ★★★★★★★☆☆☆
But you don’t have to take my word for it… Listen to the EP for yourself, and make up your own mind. Then you can let me know what you think of William’s Cave’s The Universe is in Your Head.
So, have you ever heard of William’s Cave? Which of their EPs is your favourite? What do you think? Did it live up to your expectations? Have I said anything you disagree with? Tell me & everyone else who passes through here in the comments below.
To Infinity and Beyond,