Clan of the Cave Bear – Prove Youre Human

4.27.23 by Ryan Masteller

With the intensely unsettling rush of guitar and drum histrionics from Cleveland’s most-pummeling-of-all-time psycho-death-math band (yeah I said it) fresh in my ears, I could barely begin to identify the Homo sapiens traits within myself that I once took for granted. That’s no small feat – I had been feeling the most person-like I’ve felt in a long time before I popped in “Prove Youre Human,” a cornucopia of DNA-altering bombardment at the molecular level, enacted through devious sonic manipulation by Clan of the Cave Bear’s John Delzoppo and Brendan Sedlak. But sure enough, and truly, by the time the tape locked on the finally empty reel of “Prove Youre Human,” I was questioning my own response to the imperative in the tape’s title, a response that transitioned all the way to “I don’t think I am anymore, actually.” 

I was pretty disappointed in myself.

That’s what you get, I guess, when you’re bombarded with metallics steeped in radioactive goo, dried and corroded for maximum abrasion. And abrade the Cave Bear fellows do, as each second of “Prove Youre Human” hits with a force that seems utterly physical. It’s no wonder then that my body responded – nay, reacted – to the assault by breaking down at a molecular level, skin, bone, tissue, and organs ceasing to exist in easily defined states and seeping into one another until I attained a form somewhat resembling a cross between the Toxic Avenger and the Blob by the end of the tape. So the joke here, dear friends, is the challenge itself – once Clan of the Cave Bear finishes with you and demands proof of your ongoing humanity, there’s very little – if any – of it left to present on your own behalf. I sure failed the test quite miserably – damn you, you crazy slash-and-burn noise rock! I’ll never not say no to you.

Oh, and guess what? This is a lost album from 2012, released just now by Mistake by the Lake Records, so these chuckleheads have been planning our humiliation for years. Cassette edition of 100.