Record Review: Cane Hill Self-Titled EP

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Rise Records new addition, Cane Hill, finally released their self-titled EP after such a long wait. Their single “Sunday School” originally came out just over a year ago, although it’s only been in the past few months that the band released two other singles, “Ox Blood” and “Time Bomb.” Yet despite the time it took for the album to be released, it’s finally in our grasp and is worth checking out.

Only a 7 track album, Cane Hill’s self-titled EP is quite refreshing. It starts off with “Ox Blood”—fast, heavy and chaotic. The riffs and guitars of “Time Bomb” have some real weight behind them, giving the listener the fuel to thrash around and break shit. The vocals have some nice range as well, for Elijah Witt varies between low-toned spoken word sections followed by a mix between mid and low pitched screaming. For most of their songs, this kind of vocal variation gives a nice dark and twisted feel, especially with the lyrical content.

It’s the following songs that demonstrate their “Nü” side. Both “Screwtape” and “Gemini” have an extreme Korn vibe and the influence is easily noticeable. It works well in their favor and it’s not overused as they still maintain their own sound. These two songs also feature clean singing which is surprising since the three singles released showed no signs that actual singing would be involved in the album. Yet the revival of these old school metal vibes is refreshing and haunting. That being said, I wish there was more of it. Only having 7 tracks is disappointing, especially since there are some real quality songs on this album including “French 75.” This song actually features all cleans and Witt even has a similar sound to Chris Motionless of Motionless In White (which could also be compared to Marilyn Manson). “French 75” also has an unspecified guest female vocalist who not only has a beautiful voice, but is the star of the song and makes it worth replaying. The album concludes with two heavier songs, “The Fat of the Land” and “Sunday School,” which are both solid tracks to get the listener pumped. Ironically, when “Sunday School” comes to a conclusion with the lyrics “It never ends,” it actually does end the album.

Although the Cane Hill EP is short in length, it doesn’t take away from the quality of each song. Whether it’s the heavy bangers (“Time Bomb,” “The Fat of the Land”) or even Korn-esque songs (“Screwtape,” “Gemini”), Cane Hill has versatility and a fresh take while dipping into the past for inspiration. The EP is filled with surprises, and while I understand they want each song to have a sense of individuality, additional songs in similar styles of what was already shown could have made this album a more fulfilling and less jarring one. Cane Hill’s self-titled EP is not for everyone, especially since it’s a bit outside of the box, yet those who enjoy Nü-metal or just dark and twisted music will appreciate this new release. 

by Justin LaMot

Four Star Rating

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