Northern Failures


Sadly, Cable have yet to receive their due. Sure, much of this public indifference could be chalked up to the band’s less-than-prolific track record thus far, as Cable seemingly get around to recording an album every three years, and in the interim, practically drop off the planet. So when they do release an album, it’s something of an event, at least from this writer’s perspective.

Eschewing the knife-twisting noisecore indicative of such tracks as “Needles Vs. Nails” (off the Variable Speed Drive debut) and “Feed Me Glass” (from Gutter Queen, but reprised from a pre-debut seven-inch), Cable’s third and latest affront on humanity, Northern Failures, finds the Richmond, Virginia, band with a new propensity to swing. Swing?! Indeed, Cable arrive at something more akin to NOLA/Southern-fried doom-raunch than the East Coast metalcore scene they’re commonly associated with, perhaps tipping off the more astute listeners by the album-closing cover of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See?” And, really, that cover • skewed and misanthropic as can be, per Cable’s characteristic standards • is a handy reference point for Northern Failures, for the band (now back up to a four-piece) go for The Groove here, forsaking their mathier dirge roots for a shit-kickin’ approach mighty close to a less drug-addled Eyehategod or a more amphetaminized Crowbar, and whisky-soaked as both.

Mind you, it’s all still Cable, just a considerably more world-weary one, where smoking, drinking, and Molly Hatchet go hand in hand with their usual muscular angularity and Gummo-bizarre lyrical grist of old (see the trio of “The City Dump,” “Black Leather Mustache,” and “Fours and Whores”). And when • egad! • melody creeps in, bittersweet but fiercely defiant, as on the aforementioned cover and the cathartic “Happy Accidents,” you just feel the cleansing frustration coursing through their veins; after all, nearly six years ago, when their debut came out, no one wanted to even touch metalcore like they do now. If that’s the fuel for Northern Failures‘ fire, then I’ll drink to that • here’s to keeping us happy for the next three or four years!

Hydrahead Records, PO Box 902248, Boston, MA 02199;,

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