Visually, Cage the Elephant look like a cross between the Kings of Leon and The Almost, with unwashed tangled hair being an unavoidably essential companion for their tight white jeans and check-patterned shirts. Vocally, lead singer Matt Shultz sounds like a more intense and more excitable Jason Mraz as his lyrics jump quickly over traditional rock music that's sure to inspire Goo Goo Dolls and Primal Scream fans to throw their shoulder length, knotty hair back and forth. Curious? You should be.
Their lyrics are simple but in a way that effortlessly compliments the immense guitar riffs. Shultz’s vocals dart over his brother, Brad’s, guitar with messages of fundamental stubbornness and resistance. ‘I’m only playing music cause you know I f**king love it’ form part of Cage the Elephant’s two fingers up at stereotypical images of what it means to be rock in ‘In One Ear’. Yet, the way that their messages lack condemnation conveys a sense of light heartedness that makes them instantly likeable.
‘In One Ear’ is the perfect track to showcase Cage the Elephant. It is quintessentially disorganised and chaotic in the way that has made traditional rock so immortal and yet the band’s tight musical ability and Shultz’s cockily modern vocal style creates an impressively distinguished style. Whilst the track does sound vaguely similar to something by forgotten band Rooster, an undeniable vaster credibility and its addictive quality, make this an extremely impressive debut from this American five-piece.