Cane Hill

Too Far Gone

Written by: MAK on 07/03/2018 15:56:45

Cane Hill have been known to divide opinion, after all, they encountered the music scene as if they were a proper resurgence of the widely divisive genre that is nu metal. Even though they protested to such comparisons, it was quite clear on their album “Smile” where their influences came from. New album “Too Far Gone” comes across as an attempt to shrug away those comparisons, and while it does an alright job in flaunting more inspirations from the alt-metal and NWOAHM scenes of the early to mid-00s, Cane Hill never fully shake away the underlying nu metal vibes that many can't look past.

The opening track and title song, “Too Far Gone” can be approached from two ways, both positive and negative. The positive would be that it absolutely slays your ears, kickstarting the album with a barrage of beastly riffs and an intent to make anyone go ape shit. Musically, it’s unapologetic in forcing anyone to open a pit. We are treated to pure headbanging grooves that ooze that dirty Korn tone. What lets it down is the vocals and lyrical content. Firstly, we hear those weird deeply spoken word style vocals that works for nobody except Powerman 5000. Luckily it improves as more impactful shouts kick in ferociously. Then the chorus repeats “Are you mad that you can’t be like me, too far gone”, is this meant to suggest we might be jealous that he’s no longer mentally stable? This sentiment makes very little sense and an overzealous way to come across as tough. The positives are heavily balanced out by the negatives on this song and it sets the tone for an album that has great moments and is pulled back by questionable songwriting choices.

Follow up track, “Lord of Flies” does leave a bit more hope for the release as it throws us back to the 90s, reeking of an industrial rock and nu-metal blend, like a mashup of Korn, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. Quirky, yet eerie guitar melodies are placed on top bouncy riffage and stand out bass grooves. Am I suddenly listening to Mudvayne? Even the vocals sound just like Korn’s Jon Davis in places. “Singing in the Swamp” changes the songwriting dynamic dramatically, still unleashing monstrous riffage, but providing more of a clean-cut alt-rock sound that could be influenced by the likes of Alterbridge. The singing chorus gives it a mainstream feel. “Erased” lures us into a false sense of aggression as the intro unloads the deepest of chugging hooks, however, the verse is much more of a slow burner that evolves into the big epic rock chorus, much like the previous song.

“Why?” returns us to the pure nu-metal influence that Cane Hill has become known for, providing us with the answer of what would a mashup of Korn and Linkin Park sound like, or better yet, if Jon Davis sang for Linkin Park on “Hybrid Theory”. “It Follows” takes the simple approach, steady guitar chugs, and a basic chorus that screams of the grittiness of SOiL and Spineshank meets Buckcherry. The outright heaviness is what makes the song rather appealing and I wouldn’t be shocked if this becomes a live favourite. “Scumbag Fix” then rapidly ups the intensity, showcasing NWOAHM at its finest, like early Stone Sour and Damage Plan. Hectic, up-tempo riffage with erratic drum patterns, and some great solo noodling. These few tracks in a row are without a doubt the most captivating segment on the album

The “Fucking Hateful” and “10 Cents” show promise like the middle of the album does, showcasing some great quality in heavy moment, yet like the opener track, each song shows traits that make me go “you ruined it”. “10 Cents” for one has the intensity that “Scumback Fix” had, yet midway through, weird robotic vocals segments chime in that just distract from the momentum of a good heavy track. Listening to this album I feel that Cane Hill should really just stick to being heavy and maybe simplify, it’s where they shine on this release, the two best songs are the simplest by far. Monstrous riffage and solid catchy choruses and they have me hooked, it’s the quirky elements that lose me and a reason I really struggled to enjoy this album as a whole.


Download: Why?, It Follows, Scumbag Fix
For The Fans Of: Korn, Mudvayne, American Head Charge

Release date 19.01.2018
Rise Records

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