New Jersey four-piece In Cages have added to the traditional rock set –up with cellist Filomena Jack. The cello, I feel, is an excellent, possibly under-used rock instrument. It has a deep, mournful quality, suited to certain types of mid-paced, angsty rock. (I’m thinking Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged here).
The E.P. opens with ‘Dirty Water’, which is perky but rather too straightforward to leave much of an impression, and is then followed by ‘Queen Bee’ which I suspect is the track the band are happiest with, ending as it does with an instrumental Sonic Youth style guitar build-up followed by a lead for Jack’s cello which really makes your ears prick up. Unfortunately, the earlier part of the song is quite a dull drone. Still, there’s promise.
That promise is fulfilled on ‘Walk Away’, the absolute stand-out track. It slips on with a sunny wistfulness, which reminds you of Stone Temple Pilots at their most radio-friendly. It has a lovely catchy refrain and it made my 5 year-old son pause in his game of marbles to tell me he liked it. A sure fire sign of a hit!
It all ends, briefly in ‘London’ and those grunge-lite influences really come to the fore, and before you can say Jane’s Addiction it’s all over.
In Cages take note – road test all your new material on the unsullied ears of small children to find the musical gold. My son’s rates are very reasonable.