Cage The Elephant - Tell Me I'm Pretty
With their fourth studio album, and first without founding member and guitarist Lincoln Parish, Cage The Elephant return to capitalise and build on the foundations of 2013’s eclectic Melophobia. Producer Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys fame) leaves his very clear stamp on Tell Me I’m Pretty, with the '80s influences from the group's 2013 effort taking a back seat to the '60's/'70's Garage Psych rock on display.
Don't be fooled however, this is still very much the Kentucky group’s show. The notoriously enthusiastic live group have made a telling attempt at capturing this energy on the record (many tracks were one take recordings), and have managed to do so without losing their emotional punch. In the lead up to the record being released, frontman Matthew Shultz has said that they want to capture the “energy, recklessness, and colour, and pay homage to a lot of bands that we cut our teeth on”. As such, listening to Tell Me I’m Pretty is like listening to an aural smorgasbord of '60s and '70s Rock and Roll with touches from The Small Faces to T-Rex, and all of the one hit wonder '60s garage rock bands like Count Five and Question Mark and The Mysterians. This heady bluesy cocktail predominately calls to mind fellow '60s enthusiasts The Brian Jonestown Massacre, albeit with a more polished product (and a frontman less prone to destructive emotional outbursts).
Highlights from the album include raucous first single “Mess Around”, the woozy “Too Late To Say Goodbye”, “Cold Cold Cold”, the most Count Five track from the album, “Punchin Bag”, and the sleazy, grimy “Portuguese Knife Fight”. In summary, the album does border on the repetitive, but isn’t that what made these '60s garage rock bands great?