Release Date: Out Now!
Genre: Classic Blues Rock
01. Favourite Sin
02. The Ending
05. Trouble Begins
06. Bruce Willis
08. A Thousand Times
09. One More Taste
10. What’s Left of Me
12. From the Start
Having witnessed Cage the Gods live on a couple of occasions now and been very impressed with their classic retro driven blues rock sound we now get to see if that can transfer to the studio with their latest studio release ‘Badlands’.
Opening track ‘Favourite Sin’ really sets the scene for what is to follow. Peter Comerford’s voice has the grit and gravel of Tom Kiefer with (at times) the more anthemic qualities of Jon Bon Jovi. In combination the styles allow him to present a unique voice that powers through the songs and gives them a fresh sound.
On the chorus of ‘The Ending’, lead guitarist James Moncur plays some brilliant licks and solos adding real depth to the songs and showing that there is a great partnership to be had with him and Comerford that could be up there with the likes of Perry \ Tyler , Bon Jovi \ Sambora and Daltrey \Townsend.
Time has clearly been spent ensuring that the songs sound note perfect and crisp. The studio production is also top notch and allows each of the musicians to come to the front of the mix at the appropriate times to showcase their talents. On ‘Sacrifice’ especially we have glorious harmonies on the chorus, gritty vocals in the verses that create a real southern rock sound and solid rhythm work underpinning it all that sounds so solid it could easily punch through walls. That solid rhythm with a pounding drum beat and bassline continues on title track ‘Badlands’ where Comerford adds a dash of sleazy vocal style to the mix as well.
Moncur seems to be able throw in a new lick or riff at will that perfectly fits the song. He doesn’t succumb to flights of fancy however and never goes off on extended self-serving guitar adventures as other leads are prone to do.
‘Bruce Willis’, if it follows the amount of effort the actor the track is named after puts into a film nowadays, should see the band simply going through the motions and sleepwalking their way through the track. Thankfully unlike Bruce’s current dry spell, the quality on show here is very apparent and again presents a hard southern rock track that wouldn’t be out of place on the latest Skynyrd album. A support slot when they next reach our fair shores beckons perhaps?
To keep the listener interested, there are a multitude of different styles on offer. ‘Falling’ gives us a modern Jovi like classic ballad, ‘A Thousand Times’ presents punch hard rock and ‘One More Taste’ is almost U2 like with its’ great bass led intro. ‘What’s Left of Me’ is a true power ballad that may well find itself on Dad’s compilation albums in years to come. The album wraps with a little bit of church organ and Edge like guitar work on ‘Promises’ and ‘From The Start’ that delivers the bluesy gutsy performance that we’ve seen the band deliver live several times now.
Summing up, it’s a really great hard rock album with nods to songs and styles that straddle four decades of music. Southern rock, sleaze, hard rock, pop rock, blues and stadium rock all get a look in and the final combination is both catchy and long lasting.
Written by Adrian