Despite self-describing their sound as “Indie rock’s lowest common denominator”, in their short existence, Cabbage became the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition winners in 2016. They have released thirty-six singles and played over two hundred gigs. Their first tour of 2018 saw many of the dates sell out and moves to larger venues due to growing demand. One could say Cabbage are “messiahs in training” or at least “nuanced”, now with new original material (most of it not heard before); Cabbage releases their debut album: Post Nihilistic Glamour Shots.
Opener, Preach to the Converted almost looks as if it is going to emerge as a two-tone ska classic like Madness’s One step beyond in all its purity; but instead, it blooms into a loosely Arctic Monkeys influenced indie track (however the synth keys to have an indirect resemblance to The Special’s Ghost Town). Arms of Pleonexia, which premiered on Radio 1 by Huw Stephens follows, offers the bands youthful energy, as well as the energy Cabbage, are capable of getting their fans to generate at gigs; disturbing the establishment to such an extent that riot control measures are required. The squad will definitely be called in with Obligatory Castration; the song which most resembles a Ramones punk charged anthem. There are also The Coral influences on Perdurabo. This is Inevitable and natural since James Skelly (The Coral) signed them to his independent label Skeleton Key label (who produced the album with Rich Turvey (Blossoms, The Coral, She Drew The Gun) at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool).
Molotov Alcopop ensures the early energy does not die or expire into a premature adolescent supernova. The Arctic Monkeys mellower influences are introduced to Disinfect Us. The influences of AI and the accelerated advancements of technology are explored on Celebration of a Disease: “corrected by technology. A prescription to a new age dream”. As well as generally “mucking about”, Cabbage draw on their socialist political views. Michael Gove is referenced on Reptiles State Funeral.
When Xs Noize reviewed Cabbage live back in October 2017, their dysfunctional, but deft ability “get young people to do (or at least do well): put their smartphones away, move around, form a mosh pit and even agitate security with crowd surfing” was justly noted. The energy on Post Nihilistic Glamour Shots and the bands’ political commentary will inevitably gain attention. However, there are also elements which are banal. Albeit passionate, co-frontmen Lee Broadbent and Joe Martin vocals lack the distinguished sound Alex Turner or Liam Gallagher have produced. Whilst there is a tenacious development of energy, the crescendo is achieved too soon. Seven-minute playout track, Subhuman 2-0 disappoints.
Cabbage must be celebrated and respected for their vibrant energy, their mission to get a new generation of centennials and the youngest remnants of the millennial generation to enjoy music the old way; their mission will certainly be applauded by their elders, however, it is unlikely that Cabbage will reach the young en masse immediately, something you feel this album was intended to do, after all the “weight of fevered expectation” with this album cannot be understated. Nonetheless, Post Nihilistic Glamour Shots will likely see a respectable rise in Cabbage’s already growing fans base. But for now at least; Knebworth will probably have to wait.