Thank You Happy Birthday

The post-punk, angst sounds of the late eighties/early nineties have made a one band come back of sorts with Cage the Elephant’s sophmore release, Thank You Happy Birthday. You only need to make the second song to hear the opening guitar lick and screamed chorus ripped from Frank Black’s soul. The song is titled Aberdeen, Kurt Cobain’s and Krist Novoselic’s home town, seems a far cry from their native Kentucky. If you can get past the homage, Cage has crafted an album that is interesting to listen to, and a step up from their previous effort.

Nirvana's Nevermind released 20 years ago. WTF!

Cage tries way too hard to be angsty with throwaways Indy Kidz and Sell Yourself, which seems to make fun of their own audience. The raw sounds are tempered with a couple of mellow tracks, Rubber Ball and Flow, which are great. The Pixies permeate Sabertooth Tiger and Japanese Buffalo. The later is interesting because instead of a surf guitar influence, I got hints of  high school musical! In the end, the collection’s most successful songs comes when their own voice comes through in Shake Me Down and Right Before My Eyes. Also, love the catchy 2024 that embodies the Violent Femmes. It may be homage, but I am hungry for it!

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