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cAge - Magnificent Propaganda Opportunity




MOO - "...Cage has enough personality to stand on it's own two feet and create a really exciting musical experience on Magnificent Propaganda Opportunity.

The first cut on the album, 60 Watt Sanity, blasts "it's getting heavy", and indeed it is. The synth-generated sirens featured on the traditional pop ofQuiet Time add a welcome outer-world feel to the arrangement. From an Ohio standpoint, Cage has successfully integrated the Ubu, the Wolverton, the Hynde and the House into their music. From a national or international standpoint, this band has the potential to tour on equal footing with Anthrax and The Fall (wouldn't that be a show?)

Back to the music: Big Thing explores the theme of sexuality draped in heavy, crosscutting fuzz riffs. Again, keyboards add octane to the already blown-out mix. The first side of this album takes on a character that says "epic" in more than a few moments. The second side of the album is left as a listening exercise to the reader; it's a little more straight-forward than the first (string sections, etc...). Cage merits serious consideration for their past efforts; this album (I got my copy on orange vinyl, maybe you can, too) furthers the trend that this Dayton group has developed." -Bill Shuster

THE DAYTON VOICE - "Over the summer the four members of Cage - Matt Espy, Nick Kizirnis, Ed Lacy, and Gregg Spence - booked time at Cro-Magnon Studios with their friend, engineer John Shough. The five young men went to work like mad scientists and they have emerged from the laboratory with their creation, Magnificent Propaganda Opportunity, their 14-song release on Simple Solution Records.

Cage is like a room with four walls made up of electrified bars where guitars, megaphone grizzled vocals, samples and various keyboard sounds fight for space against pulsing bass lines and tight rhythms. The music is textural and combines challenging arrangements with lyrics about internal and external devils, confusion, sex, relationships, paperwork and runaway trains.

Those fans who are already familiar with Cage will recognize a few of the songs. "Fall", which originally appeared on the Cro-Magnon compilation 1101 East Second Street, has been remixed for the new LP and a different, slower version of "Refill" was released recently on a Simple Solution Records split 7" with Cincinnati's Tigerlillies.
"60 Watt Sanity" kicks off the album like a 10,000-watt radio station broadcasting punk rock and power pop classics in some sci-fi wonderland. From there Cage never looks back. Over the next 13 songs the band covers a wide range of styles and emotions, but the album still maintains a cohesive feel throughout.
Spence handles most of the lyrical chores and lead vocals for Cage, but Kizirnis contributes four songs and Lacy even stepped into the vocal booth for "Alight That Failed". This song starts off with Lacy sounding like the bastard spawn of Fred Schneider and Jello Biafra fronting a dada electric jazz band from hell, then changes to Jan and Dean meets 63 Eyes style chorus. From there the song seques into an off-kilter mid-section with spoken word, sound effects and crashing samples, then takes off into a supercharged garage romp.
"Fall", a catchy power ballad, is by far the strongest Kizirnis composition on this release, although I have to question the gratuitous noisy guitar solo at the end. Were they afraid the song was wimpy - 'cause it ain't. I think the song would've been more powerful if they had ended it at the four-minute mark.
One of the standout tracks on side two is the almost epic "Return To Cold", Spence's take on the legend of Robert Johnson making a deal with the devil at the crossroads in Blue Valhalla with a macabre Robyn Hitchcockian twist.

"The devil bought my record and put me on the charts/I only gave him a little blood and permission to look deep inside my heart/It was a bad deal, the worst I've ever made and I know I'll regret it for the rest of my days... Now I'm older and more complicated the devil leaves me alone/except maybe when I'm in the shower or listening to a busy signal on the phone."

Extra bonus points for the song as it features real strings [provided by Annette Meng and Brian Bagdonas of The Pure Plastic Tree].
The next song is another devil song, this time by Kizirnis. "What The Angel Wants The Devil Gets" is Pavement playing a gig with the house band from Harry's Carnival Hut and a good candidate for some radio play, if any of these program directors can get their mouth of the major label tit long enough to listen to something by a band who isn't supposed to be the next Smashing Pumpkins or Sonic Youth.
The stately album closer, "Days Like These (Java King)", a song"not about body and flesh but a tune in praise of all the rest" is a beautiful, dreamy song and it should be a hit. Songs like these definately do something to my soul.

The record is overflowing with a mad scientist's mix of crazy keyboard sounds like voices, violins, various organs and synthesizers as well as samples. Cage and Shough cooked up something sweet over their bunsen burners and captured a great sound in Cro-Magnon Studios. The mix of vocals, guitars, keyboards and sound effects make this a perfect headphone record. They distill their years of listening to punk, new wave and post-punk and jazz through their years of musical experience and fill a beaker with a creation that should stand uniquely alone.

Magnificent Propaganda Opportunity should prove to some of the rock scribes outside of Dayton that there are bands besides The Breeders, Brainiac and Guided By Voices to scribble on about. The more I hear it the more I like it, love it, cover it. I'm telling my friends and I'm bettin' you'll do the same. -Don Thrasher

Listen To Selections From The Record

For More Info On Their EP Release "In Stereo"

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