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Thank You Happy Birthday

Thank You Happy Birthday by Cage The Elephant
Released: Jan 2011
Label: Jive
On their sophomore album, these Kentucky boys downplay the White Stripes inclinations of their 2008 debut, instead spreading their sound across the alt-rock map: Pixies, Flaming Lips, Modest Mouse, jangle-pop, ska, noise, grunge. Opener "Always Something" moves from "Rock the Casbah"-style Middle Eastern reggae to Beck-like rapping; the hipster-chiding "Indy Kidz" mixes dub with surf guitars; "Sell Yourself" is punk-funk about selling out; "Japanese Buffalo" starts out doo-wop, then stage-dives into the moshpit. The punk's more fun than the ballads, but even the latter get plenty of angst on.
Chuck Eddy

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