Cage | Depart From Me

Def Jux (2009)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 28, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars

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Despite abandoning his former vagrant persona, shedding about 100 pounds, ascending to a realm of alt-culture status in which he can screw hundreds of tatted Lower East Side crotch rockets, and becoming the subject of a movie developed by Shia LaBeouf, Cage remains a seriously afflicted sick fuck. The "monkey on his back is still flinging shit" at him, and — as expected — the fringe-hop stalwart has returned to depress his fans. This time it's because his girl dumped him and he wound up recording Depart from Me at — and sleeping on the floor of — former Hatebreed guitarist Sean Martin's Connecticut studio.

But if you enjoy watching people suffer, boy oh boy does Cage find inspiration in trauma. This time around, his self-depreciating yet non-comical sense of humor is completely unhinged. "Fat Kids Need an Anthem" is a damning sideways jab at American diet culture. "Dr. Strong" is his strangest attempt yet to wrestle the latent teenage demons that transpired when his mom ditched him at the Stoney Lodge psychiatric hospital in upstate New York.

Confident non-jumpers shouldn't be concerned that this disc weeps with you're-always-dying-inside woe-is-my-love-life misery (like the particularly hopeless "I Never Knew You," for which a LaBeouf-directed video is making Internet and MTV2 rounds). There's enough Prozac here to keep you sane through the darkness. "Strain" — which I'll alternatively title "Shitty Gold Chain" — is nothing short of guitar crack with vintage Cage insults dripped across the cut. Same goes for "Captain Bumout," which offers a decent metaphor for this whole disc. On that track, Cage beats himself up over a one-night stand. I'm not certain wherein homeboy's problem lies, but it sure is entertaining to indulge in his eternal agony.

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