Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Album Review :: Cabbage - Nihilistic Glamour Shots



Nihilistic Glamour Shots

March 30 2018 (BMG/Infectious Music)


Words: Danny Shackleton

After what seems like an age waiting - mainly due to their formidable presence on the live circuit and mass of recordings released over a relatively short time - we finally have the official debut album from Cabbage. It's hard not to have noticed the impact these five Mossley lads have had over the past two years with their incendiary live shows, a fair few controversies and, let's face it, the name alone which strikes interest.

‘Preach To The Converted’ kicks off the album (which was produced by The Coral's​ James Skelly alongside​ Rich Turvey at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool) with a big opening salvo, and is presumably what they will be doing, with most people listening likely to already be fans of the band. The dynamic of Cabbage allows both Lee Broadbent and Joe Martin to perform lead vocals on their songs, changing seamlessly when required and allowing different perspectives to be achieved depending on who sings, shown here with Lee adding a touch of the psychotic to the chorus.

Lead single ‘Arms of Pleonexia’ has a soaring chorus and continues with the experimental sound first heard on recent EP, ‘Celebration of a Disease’. One thing to note is that with the track listing, it is highly unlikely that any ‘average Joe Chart-Music’ will be looking at this and thinking they would like to listen, with tracks like ‘Molotov Alcopop’, the infectious ‘Obligatory Castration’ and ‘Post-Modernist Caligula’. ‘Exhibit A’ harks back to the early days showing similarities to ‘Dinner Lady’ with its slinky-strike-funky riffs - but with a more experienced and refined Cabbage sound.

‘Disinfect Us’ has all the qualities of being the sadistic ballad of the album with its anthemic chorus and marching beat throughout. Unfortunately, as with most modern albums, this seems to peter out towards the end, finishing with tye seven-minute ‘Subhuman 2.0’, which starts with a nice acoustic section but then dwindles out in what can only be described as noise. ’Reptiles State Funeral’ especially has a very lo-fi production which can make some of the song indecipherable and not very pleasing on the ear. The last two songs seem to be confused in what they are and don’t really fit with rest of the album, which is quite tight and flows well.

One can’t help but think that releasing what is now the ‘Young, Dumb and Full of…’ compilation at the height of their hype would have had more of an impact in reaching a wider audience with its out and out punk attitude. Regardless, this offering shows a more mature Cabbage willing to express a more developed song writing style, allowing more cultural and political references to be included in the lyrics, showing them to be one of the most switched on political bands of this generation. Despite the dip towards the end, this is still a very good album and will give the band a bit of a headache when deciding which of the old songs to drop in favour of the new material.

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