Friday 1 November 2013

Review of "Melophobia" by Cage the Elephant

This alternative rock act from the tobacco-smoking, bourbon drinking, fried-chicken-famed Bluegrass State of Kentucky have always had the potential to be complete and utter nutters, but they seem to have squandered this potential.

 I received a similar feeling of slight disappointment on their last record, Thankyou, happy birthday. The Jello-Biafra-style warbles and screams and the dark and visceral, Pixies-influenced instrumentation made the album feel absolutely and beautifully chaotic in parts. However, there seemed to be an equal amount of tracks that came across as boringly sane.

Cage the nt elepha?
Melophobia suffers from the same amount of tedious sanity. The band have definitely grown more musically varied, incorporating horns and falsetto vocals, but amongst the mad moments (the piano freakout at the end of Its Just Forever comes to mind as well as the skippy moment in Spiderhead that made me think my computer had crashed) there are parts of this record that just remain bland. The last track, so forgettable I can’t remember its name, comes as a giant anti-climax after the whacky screwball of a track, Teeth, which features a zany sax solo and a bizarre spoken soliloquy. I know that for some people the lighters-up ballads will be the highlights, but I prefer the unhinged side to this band because personally it’s more interesting to me (probably because I’m a little unhinged myself).

This album has its brilliant moments but it could be made better if the group embraced the psycho-Mr. Bungle in them.