Now more than ever there is a need for a band to come through with a political voice, someone with social awareness accompanied by equally as refreshing instrumentals. There has been a gap in the industry for a while and with the increasing frustration with indie music creating the same sounding bands, signing about smoking and pulling, Cabbage’s emergence has been welcomed heavily. This band, hailed as “Manchester’s most exciting new band”, offer us meaningful and witty satirical lyrics sang (sometimes debate verb of use) over well composed exciting instrumentals.
Cabbage came onto the scene prominently in 2016, releasing three EP’s in that year. Their admirable ethic for releasing music and the standard of quality maintained throughout them is reflective in the growing fan base and hype the band have gained. The title of “Manchester’s most exciting new band” may get thrown around by journalists who are asked to review any small band from the North West of England but in this case, it is a deserved title.
With the release of EP compilation Young, Dumb and Full of… Cabbage, a review of the highlights any first-time listeners should look out for seems essential.
Uber Capitalist Death Trade, the title track for the first EP I listened to by Cabbage. It is one of those songs where you immediately have to listen to the band’s other tracks as they spark something inside you that I’m sure you last truly felt when you first discovered the Arctic Monkeys when you were 14. The heavy introduction leads into a distinct bass riff that works well with the screams of “I don’t wanna be alive”. The lyrics are a strong feature in what makes this song great, with its political cynicism that makes Cabbage’s political tag unavoidable, but for me the highlight is the bass solo before the last screams of wishing death upon oneself. Honestly, it gives me hope.
Topical as ever, Grim Up North Korea delves into the goings-on of Kim Jong-un whilst linking them to the North’s mood. Moaning ‘Yorkshires sad’ over eerie guitar strums and the slow drums before a drop and inaudible screams of assumed angry notions towards Thatcher’s government, this is one to see live. Cabbage’s lyrics seem to reflect a negative theme of growing up in the North. They depict it as dead and a far cry from the era of bands promoting Manchester as the centre of British culture. Tell Me Lies About Manchester is filled with slowly progressive instrumentals that build up to hectic noise that is a marvel to experience live. This was the first song I had heard from the band, off their EP Uber Capitalist Death Trade, that made me aware of how different they were to other bands from the North. It was refreshing to hear lyrics such as “I don’t think much to the Gallagher’s sound, I could have wrote them all”, recognising that we shouldn’t hold onto the past and move on within music and culture as it can be boring and repetitive with all these Liam Gallagher lookalikes- my interpretation anyway. Whilst obviously taking a dig of how fraudulent Oasis actually are.
The height of their lyric’s wit is perhaps when Cabbage are criticising or telling us what their view of current affairs are and between the ‘death to Donald Trump’ lyrics it’s hard to pick out my favourite anti-societal track. In the song, Free Steven Avery (Wrong America) they heavily criticise modern America and what it is becoming. Suggesting the Steven Avery case epitomises everything that’s wrong with the country and personating a caricature of ‘the land of the free’, they leave no listener confused about their feelings towards America. This is one of the songs that exemplifies the bands fun experimental side.
Whilst, as Cabbage don’t fail to tell us, the worlds future is bleak, the bands future is certainly bright. With an album expected to be released this year and an EP compilation just released, it is a good time to be a fan of their music. I will forever champion the band until the genre is littered with bands whom chose to sing about social issues over failing to attract the opposite sex in an angst-filled rage, in a world where that is needed now more than ever.
Listen to ‘Young, Dumb and Full of Cabbage’: http://spotify:album:03KPiuns1VQvlWcUPb21qJ
Words by Jack Wager.
Photo courtesy of BBC.