Short and sharp, fast-acting earworms
James Ayles
16:59 5th July 2019

More about:

Amid the thrashing and freneticism, there are some fine moments on Cagework’s debut album. The trio have been doing the hard yards around south London for the past year, and the fruits of their work can be heard on the 16-minute, seven-track debut.

Comprised of Sam Bedford, James Luxton and Russell Marshall, the band have generated an impressive amount of radio play so far from their two earlier singles, with both tracks showing their willingness to delve into any given genre. Frontman Bedford does a fine job driving that staple lo-fi, post-hardcore sound on track opener ‘Wilson’, 106 seconds of furious, raw distortion elevated by the plight of the song’s central character overcoming personality flaws.

Things calm down a little on ‘Eileen’ as a touch of melancholy seems to seep through before the jangle of guitars rises up again.

It’s here that Bedford and his crew find their point of difference, a shot of lyrical thoughtfulness through the choppy guitars. Next up, ‘23’ follows a similar pattern, those wistful lyrics underpinned by throwback punk riffs and a refusal to fit the norms, while the relatively introverted ‘Listen Elsewhere’ slows things down a little more.

Bedford jolts the record back to it’s plaintive best for all 1:32 of ‘Modesty’, harking back to some of those indie rock roots and ‘Trust' proving Bedford can deliver a vocal hook with the best of them. The band don’t stray too far from their formula and that’s not necessarily a negative when it works so well, but you feel there is plenty more for Bedford and co to explore.

The band are happy keeping things short and sharp, with only ‘Eileen’ breaking the three-minute mark, but are rapidly becoming masters of the fast-acting earworm. The early bedroom demos are turning into a stack of songs that measure up to much of what is out there in an admittedly niche field.

Cagework is out now via Physical Education Recordings.

More about: