Released only a few days ago, Cage The Elephant’s “House Of Glass” has us hungrily craving more content from the band as the release of the new album, “Social Cues” draws nearer. It is their second single of 2019, following the previously released “Ready To Let Go,” unveiled in January. It has been five bleak and gloomy years for loving fans, filled with the unfaltering hope that the band would yet again fill the empty void in the world, desperately in need of their beautiful music.“Tell Me I’m Pretty” is the band’s fifth and most recent album, winning Best Rock Album at the Grammy’s in 2015. The members of the group have fortunately returned after a well-deserved hiatus and are only just beginning to reveal their newly discovered sound now apart of their continuing musical experimentation.
With Bowling Green, Kentucky being the birthplace of the band, their sound has primarily stemmed from alternative rock. The rudimentary albums are fast-paced with mixed elements of post-punk, and the ever so sweet yet gritty and jittery voice of the lead singer, Matt Shultz. Varying from garage rock to psychedelic, even extending to nostalgic sounds of the ‘60s, the band has never failed to produce an album that does not embody their talent.
“House of Glass” is dark, darker than some of their previous work, but nothing shocking or unexpected. The song opens with a deep bass and a high-speed beat, radiating a vibe of wickedness and danger. Shultz then enters with the lyrics, “climb into my corner of my self inflicted coma,” allowing the listeners to take a peek into the turmoil and chaos that has completely engulfed his life in the past year. This song is not about fresh starts or happy endings. It is sorrowful, almost tragic. It is Matt Shultz’s life falling apart before his eyes. When travelling to Italy with his wife of seven years the summer before, the two came to the realization that being together would just not work anymore, and advanced towards a divorce.
You can clearly hear the change in tone in “House of Glass” when compared to the previously released songs. However, lying beneath the surface is the reinvention of the instruments played as well as the help of artist Beck, ultimately becoming the most ambitious and pioneering album the band will ever release. As the song progresses, Shultz repeatedly howls the words “The house is glass,” with the guitar increasing in fervor and volume, electrically accelerating towards an unknown darkness, representing the shattering of a house which was once home to a relationship. The chorus delves further into doom, with the words “it’s an illusion, this admiration, a mutilation, my isolation.” Shultz is in agony. The entire song is dedicated to the telling of a heart-wrenching ending, with every lyric and instrument being perfectly positioned to craft the story founded on real pain.
“House of Glass” may appear as an unsettling song to those who do not truly listen and admire it for what it is — a personal account of an individual who channels his suffering and affliction through songwriting. This piece strays from convention, taking inspiration from a darker, more unexplored side of Shultz’s emotions, creating an intense and haunting rocker, rooting from isolation and the crumbling of the human heart.