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CABBAGE - 'Nihilistic Glamour Shots' Album Review


1. Preach To The Converted

2. Arms Of Pleonexia

3. Molotov Alcopop

4. Disinfect Us

5. Post Modernist Caligula

6. Exhibit A

7. Celebration Of a Disease

8. Perdurabo

9. Gibraltar Ape

10. Obligatory Castration

11. Reptiles State Funeral

12. Sub Human 2-0

I have seen Manchester’s CABBAGE live a few times now and they have definitely moved on from their early shambolic stage antics. It is moderately controlled these days, although thankfully not too much. They have experienced some significant vicissitudes since they came into being. They have annoyed British tabloids with their attitude and political views and that kind of protest is something that is very much lacking in todays generation of bands. They also weathered co vocalist Lee Broadbent being accused of sexual assault against a female audience member. Those allegations were, thankfully, disproved. Have those experiences influenced in any way this album? I do not know, but it sure is full of punky anger and septic Garage Rock.

CABBAGE’s first album is called ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ and it evokes some of the finest moments of the most edgy British bands over the years. The Rolling Stones in the 60s, the Sex Pistols and the Happy Mondays certainly spring to mind. CABBAGE are a band that seem very aware of the history of Rock ’n’ Roll and are happy to wear their influences with pride.

“Post-Modernist Caligula” could be early 70s Iggy Pop and “Disinfect Us” comes across like Dick Dale backing Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Album opener “Preach To The Converted” does exactly that, any CABBAGE fans will love it. The older generation of Little Englanders in the UK will hate this album, but I see that as a good thing. Rock has lost much of its power to shock and has become excessively corporate. CABBAGE could be the vanguard of this generations endeavour to really ‘stick it to the man’.

You can listen to these songs repeatedly in an attempt to find a dud one. Nevertheless, you will not succeed. You will however find a stunning collection of dark Post Punk Pop. Mark E Smith has come back to haunt “Perdurabo” in perhaps the finest possession since the Exorcist.

If the Clash had ever recorded with the Sex Pistols they could well have come up with the infectious “Molotov Alcopop”. The playing is impeccable throughout and it feels like the production was set to lo-fi but with plenty of added echo, feedback and distortion. This is definitely a release that was made to play loud and I am talking cranked up to 11 loud.

Music has needed a defiantly non-conformist band for a long while and I think CABBAGE are up for that challenge. Michael Gove and the Royal Family are attacked wonderfully in “Reptiles State Funeral”. You can hear the blood of Daily Mail readers hitting boiling point during this tune. It is probably my favourite track here, although the competition is tough.

If I have any criticism it is simply that the twelve songs here only last 48 minutes. I want more and I reckon that in the coming years we will be getting much more from CABBAGE.

If they can hold themselves together and live up to the hype, they have the potential to become one of the most important bands in a generation. If they broke up tomorrow, though ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ would be as fine an epitaph as ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ is for the Sex Pistols.

Review - Bill Adamson

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