This album came very close to making my top five of 2012. Yes it’s that good.
The evolution of the internet has allowed bands from all over the world to attract new listeners and where once we were pretty much restricted to listening to music from our homeland or forking out a premium for imported cd’s , we can now stream music or download from just about anywhere.
How many people would be listening to Cage 9 if it weren’t for the internet, after all they were formed in 2000 in Panama City; hardly a hot bed of modern rock activity. Subsequent success after the release of their 2000 debut ‘Human Feedback’ saw three further albums-including this one and not including the acoustic ‘For Amnesia’-and the band relocating to Los Angeles. Band vocalist and guitarist Evan Rodaniche played guitar for Powerman 5000 under the pseudonym Evan9 and also produced their album ‘Somewhere on the Other Side of Nowhere’.
Rodaniche is a fine producer and as such this album benefits from superb dynamics and a crunching guitar sound; a result of his days with Powerman 5000 no doubt.
The opening salvo of the crunching alternative hard rock of ‘Beg For Mercy’ or the commercial brilliance of ‘Master Of Your Disaster’ make for a knockout one-two combination and yet there is no let up. The superb ‘Drugstore Cowboy’ and the destructive ‘With The Lights Out’ come and go before there’s any let up with the relatively melancholic title track. With quality musicianship evident throughout , the songs leap out at you with vigor and even the breakneck speed metal of ‘A Million Miles Below The Earth’ or the acoustic ‘Unnamed Road’ seem embellished with class and there’s a realization that this is no run of the mill album. It’s true that the second half of the album plays second fiddle to the first but that’s down to the sheer quality on offer. Predecessor ‘Survival Plan' had its moments but this is the real deal with Cage9 firmly putting Panama on the map in place of Noriega, US invasions and of course those ridiculous wide brimmed hats.