Friday 30 September 2016

Cabbage - Uber Capitalist Death Trade

Uber Capitalist Death Trade is Cabbage's second EP, following on from last year's debut Chou. Currently confounding audiences across the land opening up for Blossoms, it confirms their status as one of the most exciting and strangest bands out there.

Uber Capitalist Death Trade opens up the EP that bears its name. Its subject matter is clear from its title, a pointed put-down of our austerity-driven economy and society, even cleverly ditching the German umlaut to reference the taxi firm, which becomes one of the most improbable singalong mid-song sections you're ever likely to hear. Sharp, jagged guitars define its direction, somehere where the venn diagram of SMASH and The Sultans Of Ping intersect with a surprisingly spectacular off-the-scale chemical reaction.

Fickle starts with the declaration "I am the ficklest fucker in town, no fucker is more fickle around" and comes back to that statement at the end, but in between takes us on a journey strewn with diversions and curveballs that mean the song never stands still. This melee, hotchpotch of seemingly random parts could all come crashing down, especially where they repeat "le chou" over and over at an accelerated pace mid-song, but somehow they stop the hurtling juggernaut. It's bonkers, but bizarrely brilliant.

Tell Me Lies About Manchester is a seven minute tale about a serial bullshitter around town claiming to be a secret agent of the Levenshulme police full of cultural references such as "I've had with a pint with every person who's ever played in The Fall", I've looked for Eric twice", "coat my eyes with voodoo rays, fill my ears with the Hacienda classics" namechecking John The Postman, Rowetta, the GallafShaun Ryder, Karl Marx and the sadly departed Abergeldie cafe, before concluding with a nod to Fleetwood Mac's Little Lies.

Free Steven Avery (Wrong America) is an attack on the American justice and political system, seen through Cabbage's unique visionary eyes focusing on the case of a controversially imprisoned man whilst declaring "death to Donald Trump, there's something about politics in America" that could work against their future visa applications before a bonkers imagined conversation between Johnny Cash and Jim Carrey. It ends with one of them on an almost inaudible rant about American culture talking about Prozac and cheap cheeseburgers whilst another screams wildly over him.

Cabbage could so easily be terrible hackneyed incomprehensible insanity, but they're way too clever for that. Don't let the fact they ram a hundred ideas into a song, often at the same time, ignore any notion of anything approaching traditional songwriting convention put you off, there's something special happening here. Eat it up, it's good for you.

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