PDA

View Full Version : Music Recommendation: Cage the Elephant - great rock


WordMan
05-28-2010, 07:40 AM
Amazon Link (http://amazon.com/Cage-Elephant/dp/B0013F2LT4).

I am only in the initial listening stage, but man is this a consistently listenable CD. Think of the Red Hot Chili Peppers with The Who's rhythm section - so rapid-fire verse's and sing-along choruses (but unlike the RHCP's, the vocals are in tune ;)) alongside sonic-landscape guitars, but the muscular foundation is more rock/punk than funk rock.

It just pops - great riffs and rhythms, and infectious energy. The drummer is excellent. They know how to deliver a good song intro, and there are no mis-steps as you move through a song - any shifts in tempo or mood fit. It sounds good, too - the producer (Jay Joyce?) sounds like a Rick Rubin fan - just great guitar tones and enough space in the (pretty crowded) mix to pick out the parts and appreciate the fact that humans are making this racket.

These guys know what they are doing and bring the rock. I suspect this is going to get an end-to-end workout in my car and at home for a while. One of the better straight-up, in the pocket rock albums I have heard in a while.

Anyone else dig into it?

Jack Batty
05-28-2010, 08:24 AM
The first time I heard "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked," I kind of hated it. It sounded like sort of a whiney 20-something attempt at moral philosophy or something. But damn, if that singer's voice doesn't hook me. It's totally grown on me.

I did download it from Itunes. Just the one song, though, not the whole CD. I may revisit it.

GrandWino
05-28-2010, 08:32 AM
Saw them at Cubby Bear here in Chicago a few months ago. They're an insanely fun live band.

WordMan
05-28-2010, 09:35 AM
The first time I heard "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked," I kind of hated it. It sounded like sort of a whiney 20-something attempt at moral philosophy or something. But damn, if that singer's voice doesn't hook me. It's totally grown on me.

I did download it from Itunes. Just the one song, though, not the whole CD. I may revisit it.

Yeah, his voice grows on you. The entire album is just as cool, so if you like that track you would likely enjoy the whole thing. A lot.

Snowboarder Bo
05-28-2010, 09:39 AM
I went and watched 2 videos (Ain't No Rest For The Wicked and Back Against The Wall, and I gotta say: wow, what utter crap.

The band looks and sounds like 17 year olds with a decent basic musical education playing simple rock songs with whiny, Beck-like lyrics and vox. No real hooks, no killer guitar riffs, no awesome bridges...

I can kinda see what you see when you say "infectious energy" but watching those videos, I didn't hear it and I didn't see it in the band. They look like couch potatoes to me, and I don't hear any real enthusiasm in their playing.

To me, the guys not only don't bring the rock, they aren't even sure what the rock is.

Thanks for letting me know about them tho. I'd rather listen and reject than not have listened at all.

WordMan
05-28-2010, 09:41 AM
I went and watched 2 videos (Ain't No Rest For The Wicked and Back Against The Wall, and I gotta say: wow, what utter crap.

The band looks and sounds like 17 year olds with a decent basic musical education playing simple rock songs with whiny, Beck-like lyrics and vox. No real hooks, no killer guitar riffs, no awesome bridges...

I can kinda see what you see when you say "infectious energy" but watching those videos, I didn't hear it and I didn't see it in the band. They look like couch potatoes to me, and I don't hear any real enthusiasm in their playing.

To me, the guys not only don't bring the rock, they aren't even sure what the rock is.

Thanks for letting me know about them tho. I'd rather listen and reject than not have listened at all.

NOOOOO!!!! Not you, Bo! Anyone but you!! ;):D

I will have to check out the videos to see if they represent what I am trying to describe. This is all YMMV anyway - but boy, I hear something different. I will say that they don't have any metal or aggressive punk in them whatsoever, so I can see how that would be outside your sweet spot...

WordMan
05-28-2010, 10:00 AM
Here's Back Against the Wall (http://youtube.com/watch?v=74rlZNy7leo&feature=related)- no visuals, just the music. Sounds like updated 60's garage rock...

Snowboarder Bo
05-28-2010, 10:34 AM
Yeah, I agree it does have a certain vibe; it's actually very close to (one of my favs) The Seeds (http://youtube.com/watch?v=vV8KvKYRxig) in tone, but without the catchy guitar hook, and without the vocal slides and bends and growls that Sky Saxon did. But I can definitely hear Beck in that guys vocals and lyrics.

Hmmm. Listening to that Seeds song, it also occurs to me that the production on CtE seems flat in comparison.

ETA: I'll give you this: I see and hear potential in these guys. It's there, somewhere. They really seem like they need a catalyst to shake it loose or something.

But I expect this kind of passion from people who are right around legal drinking age (http://youtube.com/watch?v=MeBm5ImMAZw). (The Icarus Line - Up Against The Wall)

WordMan
05-28-2010, 11:08 AM
Yeah, I agree it does have a certain vibe; it's actually very close to (one of my favs) The Seeds (http://youtube.com/watch?v=vV8KvKYRxig) in tone, but without the catchy guitar hook, and without the vocal slides and bends and growls that Sky Saxon did. But I can definitely hear Beck in that guys vocals and lyrics.

Hmmm. Listening to that Seeds song, it also occurs to me that the production on CtE seems flat in comparison.


Great cut! I don't know that I have heard that - or, it sure sounds familiar, but I don't recall digging into it. Who's the guitarist? He's really good - lots of control on his vibrato. Thanks for fighting my ignorance.

I totally see the overlap, but would argue that you are not allowing for another influence in CtE's sound: a kind of Stones/Black Crowes undertone. Meaning: there is a bit of messiness in the groove as different players change ownership of it; and there is an intentional murk to the mix - not quite Exile, but certainly trying to bury the vocal vs. The Seeds' more 60's pop vocal-forward mix. Again, YMMV.

Snowboarder Bo
05-28-2010, 11:16 AM
Yeah, you can easily tell which song is from 2010 and which is from 1966; the newer tune has lots of easily spotted influences, IMO.

ETA: haha I hit submit instead of preview.

The guitarist was Jan Savage, who played with Sky Saxon until about 1968 or 1969. I read somewhere that he joined the LAPD in the '70s.

WordMan
05-28-2010, 11:20 AM
But I expect this kind of passion from people who are right around legal drinking age (http://youtube.com/watch?v=MeBm5ImMAZw). (The Icarus Line - Up Against The Wall)

Fun - Iggy meets The White Stripes.

Snowboarder Bo
05-28-2010, 11:22 AM
hehe the Stooges influence is awesome (and obvious)

Jelly Roll
05-28-2010, 12:06 PM
They've been playing "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" around here (Nashville area) since last summer. I guess they're local (or somewhat local).

"Ain't No Rest..." reminds me of Beck's "Loser" which I heard enough of in 1994.

Also, I might be getting old.

Snowboarder Bo
05-28-2010, 12:25 PM
They've been playing "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" around here (Nashville area) since last summer. I guess they're local (or somewhat local).

"Ain't No Rest..." reminds me of Beck's "Loser" which I heard enough of in 1994.

Also, I might be getting old.

They're from Bowling Green, OH.

Jelly Roll
05-28-2010, 02:09 PM
Actually, it's probably Bowling Green, Kentucky, which isn't too far from here at all.

Not that it really matters, I suppose; just a nitpick. ;)

Snowboarder Bo
05-28-2010, 02:33 PM
Actually, it's probably Bowling Green, Kentucky, which isn't too far from here at all.

Not that it really matters, I suppose; just a nitpick. ;)

The sun was in my eyes.

It was too dark to see.

I wasn't even there.

It was other kids!

You can't prove anything!

<runs away>

Number
05-28-2010, 07:02 PM
Ain't No Rest For the Wicked is very catchy, but I can't get over how much it sounds like a mashup of Beck (http://youtube.com/watch?v=rsCAy9ErdKY) and Kid Rock (http://youtube.com/watch?v=glb2U6y-GdU#t=0m22).

BunnyTVS
05-28-2010, 08:01 PM
I fell for this song when it was used during the intro to the game Borderlands that came out last year. I listened to the rest of the album on spotify but my overall impression was "meh".

A Youtube friend did make a cool one-man-band version here. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=XLttzyLgq6Q&playnext_from=TL&videos=4Qf0lw0lvuQ)

HepToTheJive
05-29-2010, 12:27 AM
I went and watched 2 videos (Ain't No Rest For The Wicked and Back Against The Wall, and I gotta say: wow, what utter crap.

The band looks and sounds like 17 year olds with a decent basic musical education playing simple rock songs with whiny, Beck-like lyrics and vox. No real hooks, no killer guitar riffs, no awesome bridges...

I can kinda see what you see when you say "infectious energy" but watching those videos, I didn't hear it and I didn't see it in the band. They look like couch potatoes to me, and I don't hear any real enthusiasm in their playing.

To me, the guys not only don't bring the rock, they aren't even sure what the rock is.

Thanks for letting me know about them tho. I'd rather listen and reject than not have listened at all.

Nailed it.

Glad we are on the same page with The Seeds as well. Ever see that Axe commercial that used "Can't seem to make you mine." Whoa. Crazy what ad execs dig up.

Snowboarder Bo
06-04-2010, 09:33 AM
Just saw in the paper that these guys will be at the Hard Rock in Vegas on 8 June. Tix are cheap too, like $15.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Best Topics: motorkote review sergeant detective mens hip bones mochiko substitute trimps realtor widows wedding ring flaming pigs asl reverse dictionary boar bristle am pm commercial glory hole straight shemp vs curly how much is a pence in us dollars how do ducks float where can i buy butane for my lighter lane bryant underwear size chart what does the blue sticker with yellow equal sign mean group interview thank you letters pill lodged in throat washington dc to chicago drive is sulfate the same as sulfa what does e mean on a report card clean records with windex can i use fandango gift card for popcorn