Review Summary: A brilliant expression of the rage and angst that festered and thrived from the sapling grunge of the early 90s "generation x."
12 of 14 thought this review was well written
Cage The Elephant is a multifaceted band. They ironically don an ill-suited moniker; Cage The Elephants they may, but their music refuses to be caged by genre or label. It is not so much that Cage falls into multiple genres, but rather, Cage so seamlessly combines blues, funk, and punk stylings that they transcend genre itself; there is no way to describe Cage The Elephant's music without referring to Cage The Elephant itself, and in this we find a band that is truly deital. There is no "blues rock;" there is only Cage The Elephant. "Funk Punk?" No, friend, that's the visceral joy that is Cage The Elephant. Truly, never before has a band so exuded the sweet juices of so many different musical styles while managing to retain its own distinct flavour.
The opener, "In One Ear," is primal and furious. Vocalist Matt Shultz, with aggression no doubt fueled by centuries of Jewish oppression, angrily decries the ones who stood as obstacles in his path to musical expression. "It goes In One Ear/And right out the other/People talkin' ***/They can kiss the back of my hand" he says with generation x defiance reminiscent of Kurt Cobain. In fact, Shultz, practically channeling the Godlike Cobain's spirit itself, proclaims a message that is beautiful in its convolution; he doesn't set up an existential target for his hatred. No, he just hates, from the record industry, to the social commentators, and finally the very "crowd" he's singing for. The "stupid ***" that goes in one of Shultz's ears and out the other may be white noise, but this music certainly isn't. It's a sonic, masochistic assault; it masticates the ears while paradoxically pleasuring them.
The opener is a perfect overture to a grand symphony of faux political self abrasion; the rest of the album follows suit beautifully (and brutally). From the caustic lyrics of "James Brown," which paints a picture of the legion of indie generics, to the harsh reality of "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked," which vividly paints the musician's Mona Lisa picture of the hypocrisy of society, Cage The Elephant completes what it sets out to do brilliantly. It's all but planned; it's not a carefully designed political commentary. It's not coherent, and it's not academic. It's complete recklessness, utter abandon; it's a sincere expression of the aggression and perspective of the seeds of "generation x."
I had this recommended to me by someone (away from this site) months ago, but have never got around to listening to it. Not a bad review, although I'm still a little unsure what the band even sounds like. In the reviewer's defense, he does state the band is difficult to pigeon-hole.
Got this with the hopes that all of the songs would be at least on par with "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked," i was completely dissapointed. After 2 listen throughs deleted the whole album other then ANRftW. Ew.