Air Cav ‘Don’t Look Indoors’ – Review

Manchester’s sonic sculptors finally release debut album…

We first featured/reviewed Air Cav’s ‘Dont Look Indoors’ back in late July 2011, well they have finally got round to making the album available; whats more it comes as a rather special edition feturing:

Six panel digipak hand-numbered CD album
Free digital download of the album ahead of digital release date
Exclusive remix CD
Hand-written note from the band
Signed artwork print

Order now from Crystalline Records

Air Cav ‘Don’t Look Indoors’ – Review

There are some things that on the face of it shouldn’t work; strawberries and black pepper, chilli and chocolate ”“ how’s about a pounding motorik beat and a traditional violin? For that’s what Manchester based crafters of sound Air Cav have delivered on “Don’t Look Indoors” their forthcoming first full album.

Air Cav are an interesting proposition, they first came to light in 2007/8 with a rapid slew of critically acclaimed singles ”ËœEmbers/Picking At The Bones’ and the magnificent ”ËœAlliance’ which resulted in accompanying press exposure and a high profile slot at Manchester’s In The City Festival; most bands would have welcomed such levels of interest, Air Cav however chose to retreat, perhaps fearful of a standard British press ”Ëœbuild em’ up ”“ knock em’ down’ outlook.

Over the three ensuing years Air Cav returned to their studio hunkered down and refined their sound, they constructed rhythms; de-constructed them and then built the whole lot back up again. Air Cav have now made tentative steps to emerge from the shadows; one of those steps was an appearance at the inaugural Friends Of Mine Festival in May 2011, this was my first exposure to the Air Cav sound and I was keen to investigate more.

At the conclusion of the FOM Festival I contacted Air Cav who were at that point at the final mixing stage for “Don’t Look Indoors” ”“ they have now delivered the completed work, though still they choose to tease by not confirming the release date or even the label they have signed to!

“Don’t Look Indoors” is a superb album, certainly well worth the extended wait; Air Cav have created a body of work that is singularly theirs, sure you can reference their influences but they are exactly that – influences, there is none of the cut and paste of current good ideas that goes into so many bands first releases.

Air Cav’s retreat was a declaration that they weren’t interested in being ”Ëœthe next big thing’ what they were after and have found was substance. “Don’t Look Indoors” brings together ingredients drawn from the late 80’s 4AD output, adds a dash of sonic expanse, with the distorted guitar of Lush and Slowdive for instance; underpinning this a pounding rhythmic beat and then they add the ingredient that shouldn’t work – violin, an instrument more commonly associated with both classical and folk music.

The songs are big, huge sonic vista’s that evoke feelings of open expanse, but the open spaces created are then filled with guitar tinged distortion and that driving percussion which results in crashing anthems – This is good stuff”¦

“Don’t Look Indoors” is essentially a compendium of their output from the aforementioned singles to their most recent work ”“ however none of the tracks sound dated, they all sit comfortably together and this is the crux of Air Cav ”“ there is no defining sound; what defines them is their own invention.
Vocalist/Guitarist Chris Nield perhaps sounds not dissimilar to Placebo’s Brian Moloko, his guitar reminiscent of The Bunnymen’s Will Sergeant ”“ but without sounding like either band!

Air Cav have been on a journey, “Don’t Look Indoors” is their record of that journey ”“ however each journey needs and end point; when this album is finally released that will conclude their journey, I suggest it will then begin the public’s journey with Air Cav.

You can download Air Cav’s first two singles for free from the homepage.

Air Cav are appearing at The Ruby Lounge, Manchester – Mon 1st August 2011

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.


  1. These guys have been around a ling time. I seen them in 2005, very similar to arcade fire, a big influence in them at the time I thought. Really cool to see they stuck around so long to get an album out ! Nice.

  2. […] which they made entirely themselves, is released on 5th December (LTW published the first review of it way back in the summer) and this gig saw them play some of its highlights as well as two […]

  3. […] In addition Air Cav have recently released their first full length album ‘Don’t Look Indoors’ (Crystalline Recordings) which was reviewed by LTW. […]

  4. […] their acclaimed debut album ‘Don’t Look Indoors’ of late 2011 (LTW review), Air Cav finally made good on the promise of their early singles. In the beautiful surroundings of […]


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