Reminds us of: Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Pixies, Beck, That Petrol Emotion, The Raconteurs, Arctic Monkeys, The Rolling Stones
Links to videos are in Green
Cage the who? Remarkable as it may sound for a band that have been releasing albums since 2008, I was completely unaware of Cage the Elephant until February this year. If this astounds you and you’re familiar with their stuff you should probably stop reading here, but if they’re similarly unfamiliar to you then I’d suggest you read on and click on some of the links below to give them a listen.
Have gone to see SHEAFS play earlier this year, and having had the opportunity to chat with Charles and Lawrence from the band they told us that Cage the Elephant were one of their main influences, so I thought it would be rude not to check them out. They’ve just released a new album ‘Social Cues’ this month and are playing a couple of UK gigs in June so now seems like a good time to do a profile.
Their first eponymous album reminds me of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and features the excellent top 40 single Ain't no rest for the wicked. 2011 saw them release ‘Thank You Happy Birthday’ where they manage to sound uncannily like the Pixies, particularly on tracks like Aberdeen. A live album followed in 2012 before the release of Melophobia, featuring Come a little Closer which was apparently a big radio hit (clearly not on my radio though). Fourth album ‘Tell me I’m Pretty’ was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys (but don’t let that put you off) and won the Grammy for best Rock album. I like all of these albums – their sound from Melophobia onwards has become more mainstream but the song writing is good and it’s the sort of stuff you can easily put on without annoying the rest of your family, particularly those that are inexplicably unappreciative of squalling feedback (the heathens!).
So, onto the new album. There are basically loads of reviews of the album knocking about so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, but I’m inclined to agree with the one here by Consequence of Sound which talks about the album being pretty safe throughout (continuing the mainstream theme) and slightly sombre tone given the many references to lead singer Matt Schulz’s divorce. First to air from the album was Ready to Let Go which really sounds like Static by That Petrol Emotion to my ears, followed by House of Glass, then the Thievery Corporation-esque Night Running (with Beck), and just prior to the album release the lovely lament Goodbye. Each of these releases adopt different styles, and the album throughout takes on a fair few guises, although it does feel a little let down by the washed out production. It’s a perfectly good listen however, and definitely a grower, so do open your ears.
Overall I really like Cage the Elephant – well constructed songs and pretty consistent throughout.The fact that I hadn’t heard of them until this year, also fills me with immense excitement for all the other artists that I really should be aware of, but haven’t as yet come across. If you’re of a similar disposition to me in this respect, make sure you keep coming back to this website, and feel free to list any of your own recommendations in the comments box below!