Does anyone remember garage punk? Strange Cages do, and they’re determined to bring it kicking and screaming into the modern era, or at least into the basement of a Brighton pub. The basic formula seems to be as follows: Rescue the remains of some surf music that’s been in a fatal car crash, inject it with enough reverb and fuzz to kill a horse and watch the reanimated corpse play some of the finest music around today, preferably whilst jammed into a sweaty backroom drinking a pint of the cheapest beer available.
The show was their EP launch as well as their bassist’s last show, meaning the trio were on form and determined to give the crowd something to remember, tearing through an album length set and somehow not passing out from the heat, even as singer Charlie’s eyeliner ran down his face and his hair got progressively slicker with each passing song. The sound takes nods from the sleaze of people like The Cramps, The Stooges and Nick Cave, and this diverse range of influences result in a uniquely menacing sound, especially in an era where the only chance you’ll have to see Iggy Pop or Nick Cave is with 5000 other people, not in the grimy basements they’re designed for, and definitely not in a bar where the beer’s only 3 quid and the “marble” on the toilet walls is actually thin plastic with various fist holes in it.
Strange Cages are pretty damned good, although they probably wouldn’t work in a well-lit venue, or even a clean one. They seem to have dragged themselves straight out of the primordial ooze of a 1950s horror movie, and whilst I’m not sure exactly which swamp they came from, I hope they stick around.
You can listen to them on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/strange-cages
You can also find them on Facebook and they have an EP out on Spotify (fancy, I know).