AlbumsNovember 29, 201111,028 views

Cable The Failed Convict

The Failed Convict
01. Jim's Dream 02. Gun Metal Grey 03. Be the Wolf 04. Failure Comin' Down 05. Gulf of Texaco 06. Welcome to Dickson 07. Outside Abilene 08. The Smashing Machine 09. Men on Mountains 10. Sleep Produces Monsters 11. Palm Sunday 12. Running out of Roads to Ride 13. The Failed Convict
2009 The End Records
Our score 7

by Nick

Although there has been some life in the Cable camp over the last few years -- the release of the retrospective Last Call, brief spurts of live shows, and the re-release of their first full-length -- the Connecticut group still appeared to be relatively dormant for the past four or so years. But with a move to The End records and the recording of The Failed Convict, the year of renewed activity from an alliterated string of turn-of-the-century favorites continues to gain momentum. Coalesce, Cave In, and Cable are all operational again. These are wonderful times indeed. With roughly a dozen members over the years and a discography that succeeded across a wide range of heavy genres, it was tough to pinpoint exactly where Cable was planning to head with the new release. In the end, it's a staggering, burly beast of a rock record that touches on all of the places that they've been, but still tests the waters of a few different songwriting directions. Like most Cable records, it doesn't excel by cultivating a masterpiece-like feel, but rather by injecting such a powerful level of emotion and anguish into every crunchy riff, gruff vocal line, and pounding drum hit. Even the best production in their discography can't stop their brazen mentality from bleeding through. "Be the Wolf" cashes in on some of the expansive, swell-oriented songwriting tricks of Pigs Never Fly. "Failure Comin' Down" and the bulk of "Running out of Roads to Ride" are reminiscent of the days of Northern Failures with their driving, stoner rock feel. "The Smashing Machine" and its off-kilter, non-melodic beginning feels like the sole representative from the Variable Speed Drive noisecore era. And the passionate feel and soaring chorus of "Welcome to Dickson" seems like it would have been a likely candidate to show up next to "Buy Me a Drink" on Skyhorse Jams. All of the years are revisited in The Failed Convict, and that will have longtime Cable fans chomping at the bit to add this to their collections. And then there is the benefit of the band's new songwriting efforts, although the results are not as consistent. "Outside Abilene" is a surprisingly somber track with soft palm mutes and vocals with a touch of sass. It has a '90s alt rock feel that is difficult to place, but proves to be a welcome inclusion. The exploration of new vocal territory is a relatively frequent occurrence, ranging from the success of "Outside Abilene" and the subdued, soulful periods of the title track, to the acquired taste of the weirdly piercing yells in the midsection of "Gulf of Texaco," to the complete miss of the combo of the Alice in Chains lows and distorted highs in "Palm Sunday." On one hand, it's these experiments that fuel the creative variability that makes the Cable discography such an engaging listen. But in terms of an album, The Failed Convict could definitely benefit from shaving a few slices off of its 50 minute duration. But alas, the fact alone that Cable has reformed and released another brawny record to add to their catalog is enough for me to get excited. It's not perfect, and it won't challenge Gutter Queen for the number one spot in the Cable collection, but just try to listen to "Sleep Produces Monsters" and "The Failed Convict" -- tracks that represent the perfect blend of heavy riffs, strong rock songwriting, and blue-collar anguish -- without getting pumped. It's impossible. Bottom Line: The Failed Convict is representative of everything you'd expect the guys in Cable to be: worn, abrasive, and slightly flawed, but still just as passionate as ever. Cheers to these dudes for pressing on.


Post Comment
Eddie Adversary_ 9/11/2009 10:54:55 AM

Album of the year as far as I'm concerned.

pete - Cable_ 9/11/2009 12:10:06 PM

Thanks for the honest review, man. We appreciate it.

anonymous 9/11/2009 1:30:53 PM


peter_north_ 9/11/2009 2:49:35 PM


redandblackink_ 9/11/2009 3:12:03 PM

I love Cable, but I was disappointed by this album.

Brett__ 9/11/2009 3:44:23 PM

Goddamn, Aaron Horkey's art is so nasty.

STW 4 LYFE_ 9/12/2009 12:49:46 PM

these guys kinda sound like a watered down salt the wound.

Billy_ 9/12/2009 2:30:40 PM

salt the wound-2001 cable 1994 ummm....NO!

hotaction_ 9/13/2009 11:12:21 PM

dumb comment

Hoohah_ 9/14/2009 12:37:00 PM

these idiots ripped off emmure so bad

yousuckme_ 9/15/2009 6:51:53 AM

not better than gutter queen? are you kidding? album of the year.

jca_ 9/15/2009 5:09:35 PM

wow this record is amazing!!! the artwork also looks incredible

Coty_ 1/8/2010 12:33:17 PM

Album of the year in my eyes as well and better than Gutter Queen. They are playing a Northern Failures set from start to finish April 16th in Brooklyn. Glad their back together.

Coty_ 1/8/2010 12:36:57 PM

*Glad they're back together.