When they first appeared on everyone’s radar back in 2015, Cane Hill seemed to be the weed-fuelled, nu metallers reborn who had some attention-grabbing songs. Undoubtedly their debut EP and first album were phenomenal- giving us tracks like Gemini, Time Bomb and (The New) Jesus. However there was an overwhelming sense of immaturity within some of the tracks that maybe would’ve been more suited to a Steel Panther LP, however in 2018, Too Far Gone showcases the band tripping on LSD and making damn fine music at the same time as well as maturing and defining what genre they belong in- if one at all.
Opening with the title track, Too Far Gone doesn’t ease you in gently. It’s immediately ferocious- the intense guitar riff and agitated drums accompany Elijah Witt’s virtually spoken word vocals that are almost sleazy sounding. There are nods to their first album with mention that the “fountain of youth’s now running dry”- a metaphor of evolution as a band. Even one song into this new album there is a definite more maturity to Cane Hill’s musical style- yet still keeping it true to their signature sound.
Lord Of Flies begins with a very Marilyn Manson-esque guitar riff yet it’s the anthemic chorus that is the highlight of the track “I should’ve known you were the lord of flies, looking for Heaven in the devil’s eyes.” By singing rather than growling or speaking in the chorus, it leaves Witt emotionally exposed and describing the lyrical content of the song he states that “You meet someone who you feel has all of the good intentions in the world, but you realize it’s all a façade, you’re looking for goodness in them, but they may be more terrible than everybody you know.” There’s always real honesty and passion behind the Cane Hill lyrics, they’ve lived each situation and emotion they’re expressing- there’s no bullshit with this band.
Singing in the Swamp begins straight out of Louisiana- a dog barking at the beginning of the track and an acoustic guitar that you can imagine is being played on the front porch of a stereotypical country house in America. The aggressive guitars compliment the harmonious vocals; the song has elements of metal whilst still being on the slightly softer side. The melodious vocals are back on Erased which has a real emotional backstory to the lyrics. It depicts immaculately the expression of the feelings you get whilst watching a loved one slip away to the evil grasp of a mental disease that nobody can control. It paints a picture of deterioration and the lyric “don’t forget my face, leaving me erased, now I’m watching you slip into a darker state” really hits home if it’s a situation that unfortunately anyone’s had to experience.
The softer vocals from Witt are very welcome after not being exposed enough on their first album Smile and again on Why they are so suited to the more Nu metal vibe to the track. There are undeniably elements of Korn within the song- the timbre of the drums and style of vocal. James Barnett’s riff at the beginning of It Follows is sludgy and in your face and the growls are back in the vocal line of the verse. Cane Hill are back with another anthemic chorus, this song is perfect for radio play and hopefully showcasing the band to the masses.
Scumbag is less than two minutes of pure ferocity; Devin Clark’s drums sound like he should be hanging upside down on a Joey Jordison-esque rig and Witt should don a mask and overalls- there are definite Slipknot influences within the track but this isn’t a criticism for either band. Hateful is another brutal piece with Ryan Henriquez’s stodgy bass licks heavy and intense.
Completing the ten track offering are two big hitters in 10 Cents and aptly titled The End with the latter being a great advertisement for the band; distorted riffs and experimental guitars with the mix of sleazy and clean vocals and a big anthemic chorus.
Lyrically, Too Far Gone is exceptional, each track separately conveying different circumstances that the band has found themselves in over the years yet making it still relatable to the masses. Cane Hill have established themselves as more than just the drug fuelled, genre confused kids we all first met three years ago as the music is definitely more developed than their previous offerings. Cane Hill do not need to define themselves by genre, then could easily find themselves playing to crowds at the Warped Tour and Knotfest and getting a great reception from each.
With the band actively promoting their use of LSD and other drugs during the writing and recording process of the album it definitely makes for interesting listening; however that being said, don’t do drugs and stay in school kids.