Holly Lamb reviews Cage The Elephant’s latest single, featuring Iggy Pop
With the release of Cage The Elephant’s album Social Cues, queue ‘Broken Boy’, the riotous and rebellious single which showcases the American alternative rock band’s collaboration with the eponymous Iggy Pop.
The track begins with (almost) inaudible synthesised sounds, before transforming into a booming drumbeat combined with guitar riffs that race against Matt Schultz’s funk infected voice. In a similar vein to ‘Teeth’, Schultz opts for a lo-fi style of production which provides a courageous blend of features of punk and groove.
A lo-fi style of production which provides a courageous blend of features of punk and groove
Indeed, ‘Broken Boy’ is largely inspired by old-school horror aesthetics and cinematography, as demonstrated through lyrics such as “Tell me why I’m forced to live in this skin”, and “I was burned by the cold kiss of a vampire”. In many ways, ‘Broken Boy’ is a totally overwhelming fusion of old and new to masterfully create a sound that would certainly be blasted from the stereos of the original American punks of the 70s and equally the AirPods of the insurgent youths of today.
Iggy Pop’s status as the Prince of Punk has only been reaffirmed by his feature on the track, as Shultz himself admitted: “He’s such a pioneer in so many fields: lyrically, culturally, poetically, visually, musically, and stylistically…Only a couple times in your life do you have the opportunity to share a moment with a visionary and beautiful human as he is.”
In a society where often pop, RnB, or even house music are deemed most popular, Cage The Elephant are a strong reminder that rock is bold, blazing, raring, and even raging against the trend to produce music that is fundamentally ingenious.