There’s never going to be a shortage of hardcore bands in this world, full of tales of hope, revenge, defiance, depression, pride, etc. It continues to offshoot into forever more splinter genres, sometimes unwantedly, but in its truest form, it still remains a potent force. Milwaukee’s Iron Cages, featuring.members of fellow hardcore stalwarts Harm’s Way and Expire, stick very much to the blueprint set by 90’s hardcore and d-beat, in so much as a keen ear for a hook without sacrificing any of the passion or bile for the cause.
‘2012 demo‘ is five tracks of heart on sleeve hardcore, well produced for a demo, and with a melodic slant though not too much to prefix that word and shorn them of a meaty sound derived from their crustier influences. . One look at the song titles tells you it’s not going to be cheerful, and a further look at the lyrics tells another story. ‘Desperation’ is particularly bleak, portraying a world of little if any expectations:
‘Reinvent myself. See if I survive. It’s been longer than a lifetime I’ve spent under the knife. I prayed for the same sad fate: quick birth, easy life, the same damned place to die.‘
Admittedly there’s nothing new about this approach, so the trick is to do what you do well, and Iron Cages have it down to a fine art, from crushing beatdowns to bruising riffs. There’s definitely a lot of potential to be seen from this Milwaukee crew. Anyone with even a passing interest in the murkier hardcore d-beat scenes ought to take a look at them, and even fans of more melodic bands like Comeback Kid and Snapcase should give them a crack too. Yes, these sorts of bands are ten a penny, but the quality ones shine through. Iron Cages certainly possess that streak and who knows, perhaps, should Iron Cages not be consumed through their members’ primary interests, they’ll have a few more people singing those words back at them a year or two from now.