Survival Plan

Written by: PP on 09/04/2009 14:40:24

It's unbelievable that Los Angeles, California-based Cage9 are still unsigned on their fifth full length album when they sound this good. In fact it's more than unbelievable, it's an injustice that so often happens in the music industry. When you take a genre that was once popular and has now been pushed aside, such as alternative rock & nu-metal in the late 90s, it becomes an uphill battle to get signed if you happen to be a band in said genres. The past two weeks I've been trying to figure out who Cage9 exactly sounds like because their alternative rock sound brings back so many memories from the late 90s era, be it bands like Incubus, Papa Roach, Hoobastank, Eve 6, Backyard Babies and many others. I know there's one band that sounds almost identical to these guys, and if any of you readers know which one it is, tell me in the comments please!

But lets get to the point, shall we, Cage9's fifth album "Survival Plan". It's a hard-hitting alternative rock record that sounds like it came straight out of 1999. Remember "Circles" by Incubus? How about Hoobastank's debut album? If you put those two together, you're pretty darn close to how the album opener "Comatose" sounds like. From there on the band varies their rock expression with faster, adrenaline-fueled tracks like "That's When I Fuck Things Up Again" and slightly poppier modern rock tracks like "Worst Case Scenario". The combination throughout is clear: take the somewhat simplistic guitar playing from nu-metal, and expand it with some more experimentation and an alternative rock singer. The end result is pretty awesome: the songs are easily accessible and catchy, but still rock-driven and energetic without resorting into too much pop. Just the same way as late 90s rock music sounded like, and because it's been gone for so long, it's refreshing to hear someone not falling in the trap of breakdowns and unnecessary screaming in a genre where that's more like the rule than the exception nowadays.

Radio-ready hits are aplenty on the record, too. The ohh-ohh-ohh's of "Horsey" are a sure crowd-pleaser live, "Over & Out" has an infectious mainstream rock chorus, and there's just no way you won't sing along to "Right The Wrongs"'s lyrics: "I wanna write the songs that right the wrongs and the whole damn world can sing along. I wanna sing it loud, I wanna sing it proud to every face that's in the crowd". But not all of the 15 tracks are reserved for straight-forward alternative rock, there's some room for experimentation towards the end of the record. First you have the pop punk-ish "2:30 & Anxious", and then there's the extremely experimental "Fireflies Of Dementia". The latter especially sounds like a completely different band: Copeland comes into mind now that I think about it, but it still fits on the record nicely.

In the end "Survival Plan" is perfect for those who've been missing the alternative rock bands from the post-grunge/metalcore/screamo-obsessed charts in recent years. There's enough catchy songs here to feed a nation in Africa, and hardly any tracks that feel like a miss. The track in the Myspace player below should be enough to convince you to get a hold of this record, because even though it's nowhere near the best on the record, it still rocks hard.

Download: Comatose, Right The Wrongs, Wars Between Us, Over & Out
For the fans of: Incubus, Hoobastank, Papa Roach, Eve 6, Taproot
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.01.2009

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