Earlier this week, Ft. Lauderdale’s They Cage the Animals released their Something Beautiful EP. The sextet of pop punk new blood really drew me in with their tasteful use of piano and synth over songs that, instrumentally, reminded me of an early Paramore. I gave the full EP a few listens before I even thought about a review.
The first song, Somewhere in Westegg, takes a brief moment to entice with a light intro, before revving the energy up and crashing through any speakers it can find at full speed. The rest of the album keeps the energy up, particularly on For the Sun and For the Summer (which is actually my favorite track on the album) before slowing down a bit for the last track, Subject to Change, where the band trades pop-punk bravado in favor of a potential alt-rock anthem.
Throughout the album, I was actually impressed with the lack of overdone themes that I’ve heard in a lot of today’s pop-punk and indie music, where bands scream about how hard high school was over endless breakdowns (author’s note: love breakdowns, but I like it more when that’s not all there is to a song) or “take a minute” to quiet the music down and emotionally whisper the lyrics (A/N: again, big fan of dynamics. Stuff just tends to lose its edge for me after it’s used in every song).
I’m actually really proud of the band for not overdoing it with their instruments. The purposefully simple grooves and riffs made the small technical bits seem all that more special. It really made me pay attention when a part stood out from the rest, and I enjoyed that.
The vocals were the same. Since the singer didn’t go for any glory notes, I couldn’t think about “wow, I like the notes that she can hit” like I tend to do with a lot of singers. Instead, I had to focus on how she sounded with what she was doing. It was good.
All in all, I’d recommend taking some time to give the Something Beautiful EP a listen. I’m sure you’ve got time. It’s only five songs, so it won’t take that long. I can’t say that the EP will change your life, but I think you may find something you enjoy. I really hope these cats go on tour, so y’all can check them out *cough* especially in the Midwest so I can, too*cough*.