The band's first full-length CD as a trio, Master Cylinder, was released by Tim/Kerr Records in 1993, and has since been described by album producer Alessandro Monti as influenced by everything from Conlon Nancarrow to Black Sabbath and from grunge to prog rock. Some tracks might also lead to comparisons with Discipline-era King Crimson -- although overall the record seems designed to be played at parties in which guests could be asked "what instrument do you think that was?" in reference to the apparent predominance of electric guitar played in a metal-grunge style. Surprise: "NO GUITARS!" exclaim the liner notes...the speaker-busting sound in question came from Chalenor's fuzz bass. Coupled with Franzoni's sometimes pounding rhythms on the "membranophones," the Caveman Shoestore of Master Cylinder could be a heavy item indeed, but the band's sound was balanced by diFalco's enjoyably rich yet never histrionic vocals, often in multi-tracked harmonies, as well as her solid electric keyboard work.
In 1994 the second Caveman Shoestore album on the Tim/Kerr label, entitled Flux, was released; the album found the band expanded to a quartet including Amy DeVargas on vocals, second bass, and cello -- indeed, DeVargas was a somewhat more prominent vocal presence (and more assertive in the higher ranges) than diFalco, and wrote or co-wrote five album tracks. Guest Jen Harrison was also featured on French horn. The album had a more diverse sound overall than Master Cylinder -- without the heavy metal masquerades prominently featuring Chalenor's fuzz bass disguised as a roaring guitar -- and placed considerable emphasis on Chalenor/DeVargas interlocking bass parts, tribal-flavored rhythmic undercurrents, and diFalco's keyboard work often emphasizing the Hammond organ, although her synth and piano were featured as well. In an interview with Allen Huotari on the /All About Jazz website, Chalenor notes that on the first two Caveman Shoestore CDs, the band explored "really crazy" polyrhythms in the context of "sick" pop tunes.
All Music Guide