Lacuna (Topshelf Records)
Going into Lacuna, Caravels’ first full-length album, the only thing we were concerned about was whether, in the studio, the local hardcore act would be able to match the ferocity with which it performs live. We’re happy to report that wasn’t an issue. The album plays through like a high-definition version of the live show, instilling that same bump of adrenaline that you’d get at a sweaty Yayo Taco gig, but with every element pulled apart and tweaked. The result is the warring guitars coming across separately and uniquely instead of the wall of overdriven decibels we’re used to, reminding us the guys are actually great musicians first and volume junkies second. Personal favorites include “Having Had & Lost Some Infinite Thing,” “Sleep Talk” and, for the sake of diversity, “Twin,” a 41-second instrumental, clean guitar track that acts as a breather before driving home the last four tracks.