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I'll tell you what happened. The Tygers of Pan Tang lost their balls. Their first two albums are classics in the NWOBHM movement, and their third, while being sort of unmemorable, is enjoyable enough. But this, this is just fucking horrid! An easy way to describe the music on this album is sugar coated, ultra commercial pop rock that is lifeless and pointless. Or in other words, its extreme Def Leppard worshipping. Its just another sad story of a heavy band losing their edge and going commercial.
A possible explanation to why this album sucks could have something to do with John Sykes leaving the band. Sykes's amazing guitar playing was a major reason that "Spellbound" kicked ass, or I should say the Tygers of Pan Tang kicked ass. His chops brought life to an otherwise stale band. It doesn't help much either that the Tygers other FOUNDING guitarist Robb Weir has barely any guitar playing capabilities in his own right. For "The Cage" album, they found some jerk-off from a local punk band named Fred Purser to take John Sykes's place, and he obviously doesn't fill his shoes well. His horrid leads don't help make the pop on this album listenable at all, it just makes it worse.
The songs on this album range from bad to fucking shit. The opening track, "Rendezvous", is pop rock none the less, but is still actually quite listenable. The vocals are enjoyable, and if this was the only pop song on the album, I would of most likely let it slide. But after the first track, everything goes down the shithole. "Lonely at the Top" is incredibly pompous and stale, its nothing you haven't heard before. The same goes for the next track "Letter From L.A.", though on this track the chorus is so fucking bad it makes me cringe, its so over-produced and sounds WAYYYYYYY to much like something Def Leppard would do. "Paris By Air" sounds EXACTLY like "Lonely at the Top", but with a slightly altered chorus with a little piano splashed in, though the piano doesn't help much as its still horrid as fuck. Another bad but not awful track is later on in the album, which is the "Love Potion #9" cover, which actually has some pretty heavy John Sykes lead in it. I guess he recorded it before he jumped ship. Anyways, its not horrible, but pointless to the extreme at best.
Then we get to the worst tracks on this shit fest. "Tides" is completely balless half-ballad that sounds like it was heavily influenced by the new wave scene at the time. The chorus sounds like it has been rehashed a thousand times over by other bands as well, and the lame as fuck lead in this song doesn't save it from its bullshit. "Making Tracks"...this track fucking makes me sick! I can say this one song represents how fucking bad this whole album is, easily. Go on youtube or something like that and listen to this ONE song, and it'll make sure you stay far far away from ever purchasing it. The chorus is one of the worst ever devised, sounding like a mix of a kids sing-along chorus and more pop rock shit that we all have heard before.The last three songs on the album continue the shit trend. Especially, "You Always See", listen to the first 10 seconds of the track and I promise you'll never listen again.
I was actually excited to get this album, as I was a HUGE Tygers of Pan Tang fan, and up to that point I thought they could do no wrong. But when I first heard this, it completely blew my whole image of the band. The vocals are half-assed and bland, the guitars are lame and bland, the drums are over-produced to shit and the bass is inaudible. The whole record is so sugar coated that its too painful to listen to at one sitting. What happened to the raw, fierce Tygers of Pan Tang of the past? Where did all the memorable metallic songs go? Where did the fierce melodic guitar playing disappear to? Where did the METAL go? Its all actually pretty easy to answer; it all went down the fucking shithole. This album SUCKS.