Nothing sounds like CAGES. This two person project manages to capture frustration and reproduce that emotion in the form of sounds that are unique and mesmerizing. From the opening of "Approaching White Light" that sounds like a child's toy drenched in pain and sorrow, Nola's vocals launch into beautiful distorted torment, and minutes later the track descends into live drones that carry on for the next seven minutes, lulling you into a complacency that is shattered by the banshee shrieks that close the song. "Dying" starts more traditionally, and while perhaps unpopular, brief comparisons to Icelanders BJORK and SIGUR ROS are both relatively on target, though CAGES treat their sounds with such obvious and careful aggression that these comparisons are quickly lost in the swells. Almost painfully minimal, the music that serves as the vehicle for these affected vocals quickly becomes the focus, and the result makes the vocals even more jarring when they do rear their head. The 12 minute "On Dawn's Side" builds slowly to the most cacophonous moment of the tape, a stream of white noise interrupted only by occasional howls that descends into excruciatingly absent, almost nonexistent sounds that melt into the comparatively normal sounding "Dirty Lungs." Another version of "Dying" closes out the tape, this one longer than the first by 60 seconds that are made up primarily of ear piercing noise and walls of distortion delivered by the band's lone instrumentalist.
There can truly be no way to describe CAGES other than "experimental." No one sounds like them, and this band appears to be so deeply personal that I cannot imagine that anyone ever will. CAGES have an extensive body of work, including several other live recordings (the tracks from Immovable Object are all live recordings from Buffalo, New York and Chicago, Illinois). This is not "on the bus headed to work" music, nor is it the kind of thing that might get you fired up for a body sculpting workout session, but if you've ever felt alone the way that most of us have, then these sounds on a dark night will drive home the understanding that we will always be alone. This is beautifully haunting music.