Friday, February 4, 2011

Cage the Elephant: Thank You Happy Birthday

I listen to many groups of rock bands, and I typically have a category I can put every band. Cage the Elephant has always been in my "Weird Music" grouping, and with this second album release it has become more apparent that my grouping is correct. This CD is fantastic, but I can easily see where some people will be turned off.

The band has dropped their smoother sound from the first album and picked up the 90's grunge sound both vocally and instrumentally. Heavy on distorted guitar and screaming, this album would fit more comfortably 20 years ago rather than today, but that's part of the appeal. Matthew Shultz's singing hits so much variety, from distorted whispers to screeching that is so damn reminiscent of Kurt Cobain (and just as painful sounding) that it is amazing. There are still a few 'radio friendly' tracks on the album that hold their own to the heavier songs and add a great variety to the album as a whole, such as 'Shake me Down', which is on the radio now and 'Always Something' that carries over the disheartened working slum feel from the first album.

The album also feel like it picks up a lot of influence from a variety of places. 'Aberdeen' has the trappings of the Pixies "Where is My Mind" (the song at the end of Fight Club), 'Around My Head' carries the spirit of Bob Dylan and 'Flow' reminds me of Manchester Orchestra (no surprise seeing as how they toured with them last year) and Modest Mouse. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and personally I think it adds more depth to the songs, but some may see this as copying. One of my favorite songs, 'Rubber Ball', reminds me of a patient at an insane asylum.

Overall I enjoy the album. It's still my pick right now and is on repeat when I listen to my iPod. Any one adverse to lots of noise during their songs may want to skip out on this one, but grunge fans and Cage the Elephant fans are sure to want to snatch this one up.

Here's a few links about the band and the CD:
The official band site:
The Band Wiki Page:

Recommended Tracks: 'Rubber Ball', 'Saber Tooth Tiger', 'Shake Me Down', 'Flow'

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