The instrumental EP Jamz (2006) contains the distorted and percussive freak-out of Annihilated Sludge Flow, the shoegazing and ambient meditation of Seans Inner Ear, the trotting guitar workout of 4.24.06, with a sudden acceleration a` la Steppenwolf, and the Brazilian dance novelty Drum Like Devil.
Cave’s Psychic Psummer (Important, 2009) offered vintage psychedelic rock for the digital age. The instrumentals are still largely based on hypnotic repetition. Gamm is a further improvement over their motorik-like progressions: a euphoric stream of martial beats and thunderous riffs. Requiem For John Sex is another variation on the same trance-inducing technique, for which all instruments provide the propulsive groove, except that the music suddenly picks up speed and volume and takes a detour into acid mayhem. The android jam of Encino Men juxtaposes videogame-like dissonances against a hard-rocking organ a` la Who. On one hand the band is still attracted by noise (as in the frenzied demented bacchanal Made In Malaysia), while on the other hand it shows it is capable of calmer and simpler forms (the melodic fantasia of High I Am, not too dissimilar from the disco novelties of the B52’s, and the anthemic closer Machines & Muscles, that sounds like a digital remix of some lost garage hit of the 1960s). Instrumental psychedelic music not only reached new heights in this album but also found a way to exist without simply repeating the past.
The EP Pure Moods (Drag City, 2010) contains three of their best performances. Hot Bricks weds their robotic beat to minimalist keyboards and new-wave singing, like Neu covering Terry Riley and fronted by Devo’s singer. The seven-minute Teenager turns repetition into a postmodernist tool: the guitar hints at a wrenching boogie riff, the organ hints at a gritty soul rave-up, the vocals hint at a deranged garage anthem, but none of them delivers. They all exist as immanent archetypes of probable sounds. The 13-minute Brigitte’s Trip (subtitled White Light White Jazz, a tribute to the Velvet Underground) was in effect one of the most dynamic pieces of their career, with the smoky blues-rock theme derailing towards emotional highs and lows.