“Mess Around” – Cage the Elephant

Release Year: 2015

Rating: 7/10

If you guys couldn’t tell by now, Cage the Elephant is one of my favorite bands, so I was surprised when they announced their next album is coming out in December. I sat and eagerly waited for a new single, a snippet, anything to keep me satiated until I could get my hands on the new release. Well, the guys put out their new single “Mess Around” a couple weeks ago. So, how is it?

One thing I noticed right away about the song is it expands on the psychedelic sound they explored on their previous release Melophobia. This isn’t necessarily bad since I really enjoyed the album, but it seems they’re moving away from the hard rock sound that made them so awesome. I would be lying if I said it didn’t disappointment me. I’ve always loved the band for their raw energy, their intense sound, and out of control vibe. While all of this still comes through in their live shows, it’s not in their music as much. With this new song it seems even less likely they’ll revisit that sound and it makes me a little sad.

The song itself is pretty good. It didn’t blow me away or get me really pumped the first time I heard it, but similar to “Come a Little Closer” it grows on you. As usual, I love Matt’s vocals, which are hypnotic and mesmerizing. And while there is no actual chorus, it manages to stay in your head with the simple “ahhh’s” and Matt singing “no she don’t mess around.”

For this album the band teamed up with Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and you can definitely hear his influence on this song. The weird high pitched squealing guitars will remind you of the Black Keys. The more I heard it, the more it made me think of their song “Fever.” This doesn’t make me like the song anymore or less, but it does make me worry his influence will take over the entire LP.

It may not be a blazing first single, but it still makes me curious as to what Cage the Elephant will do on this album. Seeing their sonic change between Thank You, Happy Birthday and Melophobia, makes me excited to see where they’re taking their sound next.

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