Manchester’s Cabbage release their third EP in as many months, but are the five-piece band spreading themselves too thinly?

The opening track ‘Terrorist Synthesizer’, which is the title of the EP, sets the general vibe for the next 19 minutes that the four tracks total.

It possesses a swagger and a visceral precision with its huge anthemic chorus. It’s the musical equivalent of meat-and-potatoes, but it works a treat with its infectious hooks.

‘The Road To Wigan Pier’ is a spiky unapologetic post-punk belter of a track with some real kick-arse guitar riffs. It certainly packs a punch, while a live performance would definitely transform any crowd into one distinct rallying voice.

Up next is a cover of the classic ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ by Nancy Sinatra, which are ten-a-penny, but credit for picking such a wonderful piece of music to have a stab at to put your own unique slant on it. Having re-watched Full Metal Jacket just the night before, the song was very fresh in my mind. Hearing this shambolic mess of a cover made me instantly want to hear the original, which incidentally I put on seconds after finishing Cabbage’s muddled efforts – A good cover version shouldn’t make you want to do that, but this manages that feat rather easily. They may argue that it’s part of their chaotic energy, but their take on it is one of the worst things my ears have had to endure. Ever.

The last and best offering, ‘Because You’re Worth It’, is an epic assault on the system, clocking in at 8 minutes 46 seconds. It floats along in an almost dream-like state, completely different in tempo, tone and style to the previous three tracks. Lyrically it’s utter nonsense, yet amazingly it fits the music perfectly with its gorgeous, hypnotic and no doubt heavily drugged-up, booze-fueled inspired melodies.

Cabbage’s latest scatty EP is full of warped humour and ham-fisted political gibberish, trying way too hard to be edgy and confrontational. Lyrically the EP is a mixed bag of rebellion, confusion, comical aspects and darkness. It’s certainly contrasting to anything currently out in the music world, which is no doubt why they’re making waves and standing out from the crowd. They are quite an oddment. Terrorist Synthesizer is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, with perhaps only one word really capable of summing up this new release from the band: Marmite.

Photo Credit: ©Steve Hampson

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