Cabbage – ‘Amanita Pantherina’ | Album Review

cabbage-amanita-pantherina-artwork

Cabbage release third album Amanita Pantherina


Label: Brassica Records

Intro.

Two years on from their debut album ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’, Pennine punk five-piece Cabbage are back with their second studio album titled ‘Amanita Pantherina’ out on September 25th

From headlining multiple sell-out tours, playing Edgeley Park with Blossoms in 2019, and gracing the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury in 2017; Cabbage have been taking the UK by storm the last few years. Entirely produced and recorded by Cabbage themselves, Amanita Pantherina sees the band maturing from their earlier work with a sharper, more mature sound. 

The album.

The album jolts into action with fast and furious opening track ‘Leon The Pig Farmer’. The track is short and sweet coming in just short of the two-minute mark. It’s fast tempo, emotive vocals and distorted sound make it the perfect punk opening track. 

Coronation Street inspired track ‘You’ve Made An Art Form (From Falling To Pieces)’ touches on the topic of male mental health and was the first track off the album to be released as a single. Songwriter Joe Martin described the track as a “brutally honest exploration of mental health and suicide within young men”. Sonically its melodic with cutting guitars, rattling drums and a touch of psychedelia.   

Fuzzy punk track ‘Get Outa My Brain’ was the second single to be released this year and pays tribute to Shaun Ryder. The electric track is a little more subtle and sees Cabbage explore their punk rock roots with twangy guitars, distorted vocals and heavy drum beats. Energetic track ‘Raus!’ features distorted scratchy vocals, crunchy guitar riffs and electronic elements. The song is catchy and lyrically it covers the topic of Brexit and its consequences. 

The straight to the point lyrics of ‘Once Upon A Time In The North’ paint a gritty picture of life in Northern England. Touching on themes of poverty and politics, the track reminds me of IDLES. Sonically it’s a dirty rock track and has some amazing guitar and drum parts. The pace slows down a bit with slow burning acoustic track ‘Hatred’. The melodic backing vocals and bass lines compliment Broadbent’s tender vocals “his views are as old as the factory walls, gender assumptions in spite of the cold”.

Dirty Mancunian rock n roll track ‘Medicine’ is fitting for 2020 to say the least. Booming basslines and catchy lyrics make this track stand out “roll out the medicine, long live the dead”. Breathless punk track ‘I Was A Teenage Insect’ is made up of banging drum riffs, psychedelic guitar and a massive chorus; the song is made to be played live at one of the bands chaotic gigs. 

Garage-punk track ‘Direct – Dictate’ has a dirty bassline and infectious guitar hooks and riffs. The next track is cartoonish ‘Piles Of Smiles’. Its made up of massive basslines and deep, distorted raspy vocals.

Mellow closing track ‘Terminates Here’ ends the album on a slow and breezy note. Sonically more stripped back than the rest of the album, it closes things off with a six-minute-long psychedelic trip.

Overall.

In all, the 11-track record is energetic and invigorating with lyrics that are both clever and political, reflecting their philosophy at the time of recording. Whilst lighter in tone and mood than Nihilistic Glamour Shots, Amanita Pantherina is still bursting with anger and energy, but is more experimental this time around with a rough, cartoonish sound. 

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