Exciting is a good term to use to describe the feelings from Cable putting out another album, particularly after they had apparently called it quits. Thankfully, their farewell turn juiced the band up enough to write and record a new album. The Failed Convict is the latest album from the Cable institution and the first with guitarist Bernie Romanowski in quite a while, which is a good thing for fans of the bands early material. The thirteen tracks here are an abrasive batch of songs with plenty of the sludge-y noise as well as a good helping of Randy Larsons (bassist and vocalist) broken sounding vocals, but initial impressions do have evidence for a bit of a jump in song composition as well.
There are not many bands that can combine the styles into something that feels like their sound, and Cable accomplishes this well on The Failed Convict. The well worn familiarity that Cables music exudes gives them an authentic air and screams working class angst. Still, the band seems in great form, adding nuances to their music that previously their music showed hints of possibility; well placed guitar leads cut through the morass of the steady rhythms adding a layer of subtle melody that just breaks through the haze. The storytelling style of the vocals with tales of crooked judges and going west makes the entire album sound like the band is some gang of desperate cowboys sitting on some barren plain in a post apocalyptic nightmare screaming their guts out at the moon. And song titles like Gulf of Texaco and Running Out Of Roads To Ride add to that imagery. I still am not used to the song Outside Abilene, but it works with the rest of The Failed Convict. There is just an initial shock that comes with hearing the song; the fade of the closing track to the line, Pray for me, brother Bill is a great way to end the album.
On a personal level, every Cable record that comes out does indeed find itself in comparison with Gutter Queen, and just about every other record from the band fails to top that watershed moment, but this is not for lack of trying on their part. The Failed Convict is not just a superb effort from Cable, but the album is surely one of their more consistent as well as one of the better sounding ones. Surely not a half-hearted attempt at cashing in on a slowly growing notoriety (even after all this time), but rather The Failed Convict is a healthy dose of the brash and noisy Cable mixed with a few new tricks to spice up the sound. After a bit of an absence due to retiring and then coming back, Cable return with one of their best albums of their long and tumultuous existence.
8.0 / 10
Sometimes there is something which goes by the reference of historical revisionism whereby people go back and alter the place of a person, place, thing, or idea into a more ...
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