Cage the Elephant, have you heard? If not, let me explain. Cage the Elephant are an eccentric, controversial and in some ways, prolific American indie rock band from Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA. Formally known as Perfect Confusion when a few friends from college wanted to play music and so they did, Perfect Confusion didn’t survive for long and they soon split even though they’d released an album. Some of the members of Perfect Confusion including lead vocalist Matt Shultz and brother, Brad, formed Cage the Elephant in 2006. They released their first album in 2008, self titled, Cage the Elephant. One song in particular stood out, Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked. They had had singles out already but they never made any significant impact as their third did. Maybe you can tell me why?
It’s highest billboard position was #3, and the single afterwards reached number #1, but it’s still not as well known as Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked. Maybe because it featured on the world popular video game Borderlands, who knows. What I do know is, for me, it’s one of the most artistic, spiritual and emotional, especially anguish. Why do I say this? The song, In One Ear, is my reason for saying it. The lyrics, it seems they’re hinted at today’s music media and and the people who are responsible for everything we see in the charts nowadays. Let me give you an example. “They say that we ain’t got the style, we ain’t got the class. We ain’t got the tunes that’s gonna put us on the map”. They’re basically saying because they aren’t pop, nobody wants to see them succeed or to be well known because they’re rock and roll, not hip-hop or pop and those lyrics are a statement towards them. They were the nerds while everyone else were and are the popular kids. It doesn’t seem that way anymore though.
When I first heard their second album, Thank You, Happy Birthday, I wasn’t really a fan of it. It was too different to the unique and special soundtrack they had to their first and I wanted them to have that same sort of flow and groove. This album was a lot darker then the first, you got hints that he was singing why everything was wrong with the world and strangely and in the song Shake Me Down, he visualises the perfect world, happy families, people getting along. Peace. The 60’s had a strong emotional vibe in this song, but these worlds only existed after death, which was so dark and unfortunately, so true. Plus once again, they were at it with the mainstream media with the song, Sell Yourself, basically saying, sell your soul for money and wealth and give up for what you believe in.
The songs all tell a story and all have a hidden meaning buried in there. That honesty continued out of the studio, they admitted, they wanted each of their songs to sound like it had been written by someone else. I admire that, to have such a imagination to create something at one time and be yourself and the next feel like someone completely different is truly a beautiful thing. Shake Me Down reached number #1 on the rock billboard and fittingly, it deserves it, to be able to visualise the perfect world and how to get there was something so morbid but it showed two different stories, one of moving into the afterlife and what you leave behind for your relatives, it was sad but joyous.
Melophobia, the fear of music and the title for Cage the Elephants new third album. In an interview, Matt Shultz said, the mission was to defeat fear and pride. This makes absolute sense when you think of the title album, it’s almost saying letting go of those will allow you to be free to just fall into this world of pure bliss. Only then can you make something so full of fire and emotion because nothing is holding you back, everything is so much more, intense, not just mentally, but physically. Think about it, when those things hold you back, you never perform as well because you’re scared and it’s not only bad for you, but the band, you feel it and they see your feeling, the confidence dissipates rapidly. So, Melophobia is a perfect fit for this album because it’s about fighting that fear and forgetting your pride and not being afraid to be embarrassed, as Matt Shultz was told. ‘If you aren’t a little embarrassed, you aren’t writing good songs.’ But on this album, I believe they’ll triumph, here’s a little taster of what’s to come. Melephobia will be released this fall, I’ll be getting a copy, will you?