Cage the Elephant – Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant

Cage the Elephant

2009

Jive Records

In 2009, something strikingly different emerged over the radio waves to rescue the ears of many who have grown tiresome of the same old, auto-tuned, talentless noises that somehow pass for music these days. It was Kentucky’s own, Cage the Elephant. And it was good. Damn good.

Lead by singer Matt Shultz and brother and guitarist Brad Shultz, Daniel Tichenor on bass, Lincoln Parish on guitar and Jared Champion on drums, Cage hit the rock scene in 2009 with their self-titled album “Cage the Elephant.” Shultz has a distinct talk-sing style, similar to that of Cake, howling with a Southern style over twangy 70’s punk rock. Unlike many bands who have beaten the retro rock n’ roll genre to its absolute death, Cage tackles it all with a snarky attitude and music to fit the bill.

The song “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” quickly became a radio-friendly hit soon after the album released. With its catchy guitar riff and a splash of country twang accompanied by Shultz’s crooning voice telling the tale of three down and out characters. The chorus sings true to many listeners, “No I can’t slow down/I can’t hold back/Though you know I wish I could/No there ain’t no rest for the wicked/Until we close our eyes for good.”

“Back Stabbin’ Betty” follows the theme of less-fortunate characters, with the tale of a man oppressed by a cold-hearted female partner. The music on this one is raw, and Cage takes you through the story in a tempo much like a slow and heavy walk, with moments of chaos. Shultz has you rooting for the underdog throughout the song in his talk-singing narration.

After listening to this disc, there is no doubt that Cage the Elephant is a band that has a fiery attitude about their music. “In One Ear” is the opening song to the self-titled album, and right off the bat is seemingly letting the world know what they’re about. With its couldn’t-care-less vibes, the song leaves no room to care about critics’ assumptions and opinions. They make it very clear they have a passion for what they do and no time for bullshit as Shultz confronts critics in the chorus, “So it goes in one ear and right out the other/People talking shit but you know I never bother/It goes in one ear and right out the other/People talking shit, they can kiss the back of my hand.” With that, they’ve laid it all on the table, take it or leave it.

For those down on their luck, off the beaten path, and rock lovers in general who are in for something fresh, Cage the Elephant plays up to everything their hits offer. Needless to say you won’t be disappointed. The self-titled album is unquestionably worth the listen.

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