Weird Wednesdays: Plants enslaving ants

Weird Wednesdays: Plants enslaving ants

The Central American acacia plant Acacia hindsii enjoys a special relationship with its neighbors. These plants are myrmecophyte—plants that rely on the help of ants to clean them, guard them from predators and generally help it survive in the wild.

Queue up ‘Social Cues’

(cagetheelephant.com)

With a fifth album in the books, one would think Cage the Elephant would be in danger of losing their authentic sound and gritty lyrics, but the American alternative rock band is still going strong with “Social Cues,” harkening back to their older hits but exploring their sound enough for the installment to be fresh. The band’s latest tracks hit streaming services last Friday after the release of singles “Ready to Let Go,” “House of Glass,” “Night Running” and “Goodbye” in January and March.  

The album was conceived in the wake of frontrunner Matt Shultz’s divorce, prompting a more exploratory sound combining grunge rock, psychedelic pop and indie alternative in their 13 tracks. With inspiration from The Black Keys, MGMT, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and even the Cure, the range of inspiring sounds make the tracks diverse in both lyrics and instrumentals.  

The opener, “Broken Boy,” bring the tempo up with a space-pop track, glamorous with a modern twist, before melding into a more psychedelic vibe with the title track. One of the most pop-influenced songs is the collaboration with Beck on “Night Running.” 

“I’ll be in the backroom, tell me when it’s over,” Shultz sings on “Social Cues.” “I don’t know if I can play this part much longer,” which aptly represents the band’s shift in sound, which seems more like an evolution than an unwelcome change. 

Producer John Hill, who has worked with Eminem, Rihanna and Portugal. The Man, infuses the pop inspiration with the band’s typical cynical dark sound on tracks like “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.”  

“Ready to Let Go” and sister track “Dance Dance” pull on their grunge-rock roots but seemingly more mature with Shultz’s lyrics relating to his recent divorce. 

“The sun goes went down over Pompeii, on both sides the vow was broken,” Shultz sings.  

From the aforementioned pop vibes of “Night Running” to the “The War is Over” and “What I’m Becoming,” with more somber tones, the range of the album still melds together into one cohesive album that takes a journey that the band has been long overdue to make. “Love’s the Only Way” showcases a softer sound with string instrumental and rhythmic guitar to match the regretful tones of Shultz’s lyrics. It just shows their maturity in exploring their sound rather than stumbling about in their genre. 

The instrumentals in the songs equally express the same energy of the album, with guitarist Brad Shultz matching the staccato bursts in vocals with strong power chords as bassist Daniel Tichenor anchors with an intense bassline and drummer Jared Champion keeps tempo.  

It’s not perfect, but there’s not much disappointment with the band’s latest release. There are catchy choruses, the band’s characteristic quirky lyrics and a well-rounded sound that is both provocative and fresh, yet still reminiscent of the band. More than a few of the tracks will be added to my playlist, for sure. 

Rating: 4.5/5 


Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.

SUNY Oneonta cancels scheduled Sean Kingston concert

SUNY Oneonta cancels scheduled Sean Kingston concert

The State University of New York (SUNY) at Oneonta has cancelled Sean Kingston’s scheduled performance at their OH-Fest, joining a growing list of universities calling for the removal of Kingston as a performer after the University of Connecticut’s decision to cancel his show. 

Point/Counter: Warriors Repeat or New Champion?

Point/Counter: Warriors Repeat or New Champion?

The two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors have become arguably the most dominant dynasty the league has seen since the 1990s Chicago Bulls and are the model franchise of the modern NBA. The Dubs are the favorites to take home the trophy once again, but will have to best some of the stiffest competition they’ve ever seen on their way to a third straight title. Will the Warriors repeat, or will the NBA see a new champion this year?

UConn MUST increase undergraduate representation

UConn MUST increase undergraduate representation

In a move that is all-too-familiar, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) is again campaigning for more student representatives on the Board of Trustees, this time hoping to double the current two students to four. USG wants to further their vision of giving a voice to University of Connecticut undergraduates, but it’s hard not to feel cynical about it.

On the Need for a Labor Party by Wyatt Mund

On the Need for a Labor Party by Wyatt Mund

Though it is still the first half of 2019, rallying cries are already being heard for the presidential election of 2020. It seems like every week there is a new candidate emerging to chase the Democratic Party nomination, from Beto O’Rourke to Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris to Tulsi Gabbard, Joe Biden to Andrew Yang, Elizabeth Warren to Bernie Sanders. One would hardly suspect election day was nearly two years away by looking at the press.

Take off the mask and explore your identity

Take off the mask and explore your identity

Students are often struggling with the formation of their identity throughout their undergraduate career. Unmasking Your Identity, a new organization on campus that focuses on Asian American identity, hosted a workshop on Tuesday evening at the Asian American Cultural Center (AsACC) with Angela Rola, the director of AsACC, and Kayla Wong, a graduate student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program and graduate assistant at AsACC.   

Winter is coming to Spring Weekend

Winter is coming to Spring Weekend

Spring Weekend 2019 is upon us. But while warmer weather brings annual University of Connecticut traditions, finals, graduation and the promise of summer, it also brings the new and final season of “Game of Thrones.” It’s no coincidence that SUBOG will be hosting two important members of the “GoT” family, executive producer and writer Bryan Cogman and actress Hannah Murray, who plays Gilly on the show, for the Spring Weekend Lecture on the tails of the eighth season premiere.  

New-found life in UConn football

New-found life in UConn football

With an earlier-than-usual spring schedule, and a new strength coach, UConn football is undergoing a culture shift in year three of Randy Edsall’s second stint in Storrs.

“Having the schedule that we had, I think it’s been very beneficial to us. You can see it, their bodies, they’re getting stronger,” Edsall said. “That was one of the objectives that we had by moving spring practice up as early as we did, so we can get more time in the weight room.”

Notre Dame burning should not be invalidated by other causes

Notre Dame burning should not be invalidated by other causes

As virtually everyone on the planet has heard, last week the famous historical landmark, the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, partially burned down. The fire, which burned for hours before ultimately being extinguished by Parisian firefighters, destroyed the cathedral’s iconic spire along with some of the relics inside. Luckily, as of Tuesday, April 16, only one firefighter was reported being seriously injured by the flames. All others had only minor injuries. Miraculously, no one was killed.

Column: Keep your upsets, hockey

Column: Keep your upsets, hockey

Then the playoffs started, and they were promptly swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Got outscored 19-8 over the course of four games to a feisty Blue Jackets crew. Such is hockey. There is tremendous variance in playoff hockey. It is unpredictable and so-called inferior teams win all the time. Fine with me.