Reviewed: Cane Hill ‘Kill the Sun’
Having only released their excellent second album ‘Too Far Gone’ back in January, Cane Hill have followed it up with one of the biggest swerves we’ve seen in some time- a semi-acoustic EP that really shows the diversity they have at their disposal.
‘Kill the Sun’ is a big nod in the direction of one of the band’s biggest influences- Alice in Chains, every so often slipping in a moment where you mistake vocalist Elijah Witt for the legendary Layne Stayley, but rest assured, this is Cane Hill at their most original and delicate.
’86d- No Escort’ has some sunny acoustics and a simple drum stomp while a hint of trap boils under the surface; this is alternative rock in a calmer sense and Witt’s clean vocals are incredible. ‘Empty’ follows in similar fashion, although it still includes darker elements in the lyrical content, before the spine-tingling ‘Save Me’ see’s Witt singing “Don’t try to save me, wait for me to save myself”, showing just how much he has grown over the last couple of years both in a musical and personal sense. A piano drives the track along and an 80s style guitar solo is thrown in for good measure. Standout track without a doubt.
The lead single and title track comes next, still containing hints of Cane Hill’s moodiness but with some hypnotic guitar rhythms that brings the song to a haunting climax- ‘Kill the Sun’ is possibly the one song on the EP that might work given a heavier remix. ‘Acid Rain’ is the most experimental, tribal in some ways, Alice in Chains in a lot more, before the finale, ‘Smoking Man’ , has the most energetic drumming and contributes to an almost twisted country song. An entrancing second half of distortion and an industrial edge makes it the heaviest song on the record, and then you sit back and think about what you’ve just heard.
Cane Hill are known as a bruising mob who fit nicely into the alternative metal/nu-metalcore/hard rock category, but ‘Kill the Sun’ confirms that the NOLA quartet are capable of so much more. We’ve seen flourishes of their softer side on various tracks across their previous EP and two albums, but as one whole release, this is the moment they become true rockstars of the modern rock and metal scene. Like many others, I was sceptical about what they were going to come up with on this one, but you have to listen to the whole thing rather than single tracks to truly understand and appreciate what Cane Hill have achieved here.
What comes next is anyone’s guess because Cane Hill have thrown the whole game wide open.
Cane Hill is-
Elijah Witt (vocals), James Barnett (guitar), Ryan Henriquez (bass), Devin Clark (drums)
‘Kill the Sun’ drops on January 18, 2019 via Rise Records, visit www.wearecanehill.com for more information.