Review by Greg Maki
Cane Hill crawled out of the swamps of New Orleans in 2015 with its self-titled EP, then made more of a mark with its full-length debut, “Smile,” released in 2016. The quartet has been at the forefront of the nu-metal revival that has been not-so-quietly brewing in the past few years, but that subgenre is merely a jumping-off point for its spectacular sophomore effort, “Too Far Gone.”
The title track kicks things off in beautifully heavy and chaotic fashion before “Lord of Flies” shows a much stronger ear for melody than anything we’ve heard from Cane Hill in the past; the chorus has an Alice in Chains feel without copping the layered vocal approach so many other acts have aped over the years. Frontman Elijah Witt’s newfound diversity allows the band to push itself further in every direction. Hooks are all over the place on “Singing in the Swamp,” “Why?” and even amid the heavy grooves of the incredibly catchy “It Follows,” while “Scumbag” and “Hateful” are blasts of hardcore-fueled rage.
Guitarist James Barnett steps up, as well, with fiery leads and solos sprinkled throughout the album and consequently opening up parts of the songs for bassist Ryan Henriquez to take a more prominent role. Drummer Devin Clark locks in with him to provide a firm backbone. Throw in some industrial influences here and there, and “Too Far Gone” is a dynamic, dramatic recording—focused and concise at about 36 minutes, and a big leap forward for a promising young band.
(Rise Records, January 19, 2018)