Cave Credit: Frank Van Duerm

Cave has been one of my favorite Chicago rock bands during the last half-decade or so, a combo made up primarily of Columbia, Missouri, transplants who create hypnotic instrumental jams that I never want to end. Unfortunately, the band doesn’t play live very often these days. Guitarist Jeremy Freeze, who replaced keyboardist Rotten Milk a few years ago, remains in Columbia, and guitarist and keyboardist Cooper Crain is increasingly busy with his trio Bitchin Bajas, to say nothing of his work as a producer (Circuit des Yeux, Paperhead, ONO, Ryley Walker, et cetera). But Cave is kicking off a U.S. tour on Thursday with a show at the Empty Bottle. The combo hasn’t released anything new since Threace a couple of years ago, although they reportedly have been working on new material. But last year Drag City issued a very useful compilation of rare Cave tracks titled Release, with music cut between 2007-2013 (the newest track, “Jim,” features full-on vocals from Freeze, but didn’t end up making it onto Threace). For today’s 12 O’Clock Track I’m sharing a taut 2008 gem called “The Ride,” which was originally issued on a Static Caravan single and presages the group’s recent dalliances with a unique strain of ultradry funk—check it out below.