Opening with the lively Spiderhead, Cage The Elephant’s third album Melophobia gets off to a promising start.
Their trademark dirty country/indie sound is here in spades, although the reference to “spiders in my head” might not paint a particularly welcome picture for the arachnophobes among us.
Moving on to the album’s first single, Come A Little Closer, the band slow things down a little, but without veering too far from that classic sound that made their early songs In One Ear and Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked instant classics.
There’s a not very subtle keyboard tribute riff to The Beatles on Telescope, with Matthew Shultz sounding more like The Flaming Lips’ singer Wayne Coyne than ever.
On It’s Just Forever, the band get some vocal assistant from the brilliant Alison Mosshart – she of The Kills and The Dead Weather fame. It’s a song with more twists and turns than a Lionel Messi foray into the penalty area and it’s one of this record’s standouts.
There’s a dancier feel to Halo, which brings to mind Franz Ferdinand and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with its disco-style verses which merge into a massive chorus showcasing the band’s knack for a catchy tune.
For our money, Black Widow is the best on offer here. Just different enough to show that the bad are willing to take risks, but enough like their early material to keep long time fans onside.