Monday, October 12, 2009

Show Preview - Cage the Elephant - Opening for Silversun Pickups - 10/24/09 - Ches-A-Rena

Cage the Elephant will be opening for the Silversun Pickups on Saturday, 10/24. Below is review of their album and a preview of the show. Also, be sure to enter for a pair of tickets to the show by simply emailing me with your name.

Cage the Elephant is touring in support of their freshman self titled album. The band is made up of 2 brothers and 3 other life long friends that grew up in the Bowling Green, KY area. They recently transplanted to England where they developed their album before laying down the tracks. Their debut quickly sold 40k units in the UK before making its way over stateside.

The album has a dirty southern feel with grinding guitars and hip vocals. The lyrics could be described as a little rapping or just a bit of conversing ala The Hold Steady (although not in that category). There are a lot hooks and grooves with drum beats and guitar riffs bringing up the backend of each track making a cohesive sound distinctive in the rock genre. They honestly could be confused for some British outfit (I don’t know if it has anything to do with their relocation) with the accent you hear from vocalist Matt Schultz (sounds a bit like Arctic Monkeys lead). He has the sound of a scratchy, blues man with a gruff undertone. “In One Ear” starts the album off with a bang with catchy hooks and a big vibe to tell you what CTE is all about. The lyrics denounce critics and fans with one track minds: They say that we ain't got the style/We ain't got the class/We ain't got the tunes that's going to put us on the map….The crowd will only like me if they're really fuckin' drunk/They think they know my thoughts/But they don't know the least.

The album’s single “Ain't No Rest for the Wicked” is very radio friendly with the feel of a bluesy White Stripes. The lyrics speak about the difficulties of people and what they will do to pay the bills. Money don't grow on trees/I got bills to pay/I got mouths to feed/There ain't nothing in this world for free. The song has a great beat with rhythmic drums allowing the listener to tap your toes and sing along if you know the lyrics. “Judas” is a song with an anti-war message: And it's a shame to have to say/You had to kill to gain control again. "Back Against the Wall" is another single with some crazy looking gnomes in their video (love the gnomes). Lyrics speaking of a detached person hanging on: Tonight I’ll have a look/And try to find my face again/Buried beneath this house/My spirit screams and dies again.

Cage the Elephant is off to a great start and should hold a good size fan base for quite some time. They are not a band looking for ‘indie cred’ but one that is trying to find their own way into a musical hodgepodge where they might not exactly fit. With straight forward lyrics and ones that don’t make you ask “what did he say?”. These life long friends should be on the scene for quite some time.