Strange Cages - ‘Four handsome, young men in the prime of their lives’

Strange Cages. Photo by Todd McConnochie
Strange Cages. Photo by Todd McConnochie

Brighton psych-punk pretty things Strange Cages mark the release of their debut album with a show at the Rialto next Friday (September 13).

The fledgling noise-makers, who, somewhat justifiably, describe themselves as ‘Four handsome, young men in the prime of their lives’ have been a fixture in the city’s live scene for the past five years and have supported heavyweights such as IDLES and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard to Yak and Night Beats.

They say their sound as a plethora of psych, punk, garage and reptilian sleaze topped off with a slither of smooth jazz, and expressed adoration of Thee Oh Sees, The Stooges and Gang of Four, not to mention a soft spot for Nancy Sinatra.

Formed in 2014, their debut single Pony was picked up early by DIY champions Strong Island recordings.

Along the way they’ve garnered support from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and have put in some extensive touring, including numerous European ventures

Their long-awaited long-player, Pop Therapy, will be released in collaboration with promoters and psych-rock connoisseurs Acid Box on the day of the gig at the Rialto.

The lead track from Pop Therapy is a thrilling mission statement of things to come.

Opening with a blistering guitar riff, chaotic drums and a taunting bass line, Dance Like An Alpha Male is a punchy amalgamation of wiry post-punk and hypnotic garage-rock.

Dropping down the intensity for the verse, front man Charlie McConnochie’s unhinged vocals echo a disgruntled Lias Saoudi, of Fat White Family, before building right back up into an abrasive explosion of guitar work.

With shamanic chants leading the track through an unexpectedly eerie middle 8, Dance Like An Alpha Male will take you places that you didn’t know you needed to go.

McConnochie said: “Sometimes it’s good to take a look at your own actions over the last 24 hours to decide whether they’re really coming from you or if they are an imitation of something else.

“Once you’ve done that, you can have a little freak out and then go back and start learning how to be more of a genuine human being.”

Tickets to the show available at www.acidbox.co.uk and Resident Records