January 14, 2019 Cane Hill – Kill The Sun (EP Review)
Thirsty for some new swamp juice from those dirty N’awlins boys? Beg no more! Cane Hill are gifting their fans something spicy with the brand-new Kill The Sun EP, which arrives on Friday, January 18, 2019, thanks to Rise Records.
Louisiana’s Cane Hill celebrated a victorious 2018 with their sophomore disc, Too Far Gone, arriving in January, repeated WWE promotions of their material, the release of the live disc Live From The Bible Belt, and a legion of new fans joining the fray amidst a growing respect for the band. Touring alongside the likes of Of Mice & Men, Blessthefall, Motionless In White, and Ice Nine Kills was just the icing on a year that was already quite delicious!
As fans already know, in their incendiary form, Cane Hill resemble something akin to Alice In Chains fornicating in the sludgy swamps with Mudvayne. Though, on their latest, they are a healthy dose of the former, unplugged and swishing their boots through the dirt as they croon amongst the tumbleweeds. Yes, almost a year to the day that they informed the world that they are Too Far Gone, Cane Hill return with the Kill The Sun EP.
For the 6-song EP, Cane Hill — Vocalist Elijah Witt, Guitarist Elijah James Barnett, Bassist Ryan Henriquez, and Drummer Devin Clark — go bold in the tenderest sense of the term, wearing their collective heart on their sleeve and showing the world that, even if they are known for stomping through swamps, they can play nicely with acoustics, as well.
Embracing the kinder, gentler side of their personality, Cane Hill go acoustic for “86d – No Escort,” a nod to their Alice In Chains influence on a track that harkens back to the dusty, dirty days of Dirt’s “Down in a Hole” or the Jar of Flies EP. In no way is that meant to say that it’s a derivative track, no — just one that sees Cane Hill emotionally transparent, with a beautiful respect toward their forebears. In fact, that’s the dominant vibe throughout Kill The Sun — dusty, gritty, beautifully melodic (mostly) acoustics that prove that, hey, besides kicking ass, Cane Hill can also play it smooth.
This vibe continues with the Spanish-dusted guitar work of “Empty,” where the loss of a relationship creates a pit of emptiness in the soul. Truthfully, Barnett’s guitar sass steals the show here, anchoring the track and adding a sumptuous flare. Going for unfiltered honesty, Witt sings alongside piano accompaniment on the insightful “Save Me.” A reminder that only we can save ourselves, the song sees Cane Hill soaring to new heights of melody and infectiousness.
A struggle to learn the harsh lessons of the past and break the cycle, the EP’s titular track, “Kill the Sun,” tackles a topic close to the heart of Cane Hill — self-sabotage. It’s a painful cycle, one that has produced a career-defining track for the young band. Oh, and the saxophone? That’s drummer Clark!
Second single/video “Acid Rain” returns to the gritty tumbleweeds to take listeners on the best acid trip of their lives — because drugs, man. They amp it up to a stonier vibe for the delicately electrified “Smoking Man,” ultimately ending the song (and collection) with a minute-long musical tornado that would make Nirvana proud.
Produced by Kris Crummett (Dance Gavin Dance, Slaves), Kill The Sun sees Cane Hill straying far from their previous path, dabbling in a collection of songs that hit hard without being brutal. It’s a tactic that proves the band’s talents, cements their place in the upper echelon of today’s music, and shows the world that these New Orleans boys are no one-trick ponies. Boldly unplugged and bloody candid, Cryptic Rock give Cane Hill’s Kill The Sun EP 5 of 5 stars. We want more!