The reanimation of nu-metal’s corpse over the last couple of years has led to an undeniable rise in the number of bands thrusting the genre into the 21st Century. It’s also led to nu-metalcore as a genre, taking the teen angst and parent baiting of both components and throwing them together under one dodgy banner. Still, it’s spawned some pretty good bands, and New Orleans’ Cane Hill are amongst the best of the bunch.
As a body of work, this debut EP hits all the right targets when it comes to cherry-picking the best of nu-metal and blending it all together; Gemini has all the twisted mania of Korn at their most potent, while Screwtape has one of the best choruses Slipknot never wrote. But rather than simply being a sum of their influences, there’s enough on Cane Hill to set them apart and give them a real presence in 2015. There’s a jolt of electricity that runs through the EP that means, regardless of its source material, it never feels dated or stunted, and has a very real possibility of being the high-quality genre-reviver that is needed. Whereas King 810’s somewhat over-reliance on emotional bloodletting saw them become pariahs, the onus on Cane Hill is very much on the bounce and the anger, the two things they excel at most. It certainly speaks volumes that the only weak song is French 75, a muddy, overwrought ballad that never leaves second gear.
Other than that, Cane Hill pack their debut EP with the best of both nu-metal and metalcore in an absolutely seamless mesh. Sunday School hits like a steamroller, while Time Bomb is given an extra level of depth thanks to contributions from Issues turntablist DJ Scout. In frontman Elijah Witt, the band have a star in the making – he’s able to shift from skin-stripping rasps á la Jonathan Davis to battering roars at the drop of hat, just one part of the immense impresiveness that this band have going for them. Because, for a supposedly dead genre, Cane Hill sure have a lot of life in them.
For fans of: Slipknot, King 810, Scare Don’t Fear
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘Cane Hill’ by Cane Hill is out now on Rise Records.