Local Wire

Cage the Elephant @ Marquee Theatre

Anytime a huge band takes a hiatus, bands of a similar stripe get an opportunity to move in quickly and make Huge Band's audience its own before Huge Band returns. It happened in the '80s, when the Police took progressively longer to follow up their albums — we got all sorts of fake white-boy reggae rock sung in high-pitched Jamaican accents (see Men at Work and the Outfield). Here's hoping something like that happens during Kings of Leon's indefinite leave of absence. Like KOL, the Kentucky quintet Cage the Elephant: 1) features brothers with a crazy family background (although the Shultz brothers didn't actually live on a hippie commune, as their MySpace page bio indicated); 2) went to England and got more popular there than in the United States; 3) holds a fascination with the roots of Southern folk, rock, and gospel, although CTE has remained quirkier in its application of these forms by adding elements of funk and R&B. And if the spate of crackling good singles off their second album, Thank You Happy Birthday, which debuted at number two on Billboard's Top 200 last year, is any indication, these guys show no interest in amassing a mainstream following by making hollow arena rock and sounding as if a pigeon had just shit in a band member's mouth.

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic