https://www.bierschinken.net/review/3575-big-john-bates-skinners-cage

Big John Bates opens the seven gates of hell again. But instead of launching a storm, under the hot desert sand of the southern states, there is only a seething hole through which we can observe the demons that have long surrounded us. While today’s globalized world is as closely networked as it has ever been, human beings are becoming increasingly degenerated into users or consumers, and more and more lonely in this state. So everyone sits in his skinner box and suffers his days in the dark.

The dark atmosphere, which one already knows from previous albums, sets the tone for “Skinner’s Cage”. The alternate vocals of John and Brandy Bones, as well as the sprawling play of theremin, send icy shivers down our spines. Even if the basic feel of the platter is not aggressive, you can feel it crackling clearly. On it “From Dusk Till Dawn” meets the Bates band and sends the listener on a ghost train ride through abandoned silver mines under the dusty highways. Thematically it is about isolation, loneliness and loss. These topics are focused on both the personal and the social level. The last song is a dark cover of Kurt Weill’s “Moon of Alabama”.

Incidentally, the album cover is a picture by the Argentinean painter Santiago Caruso and perfectly reflects the theme of the present album. Conclusion: Dark and very atmospheric Southern Doom.

Play tip: All the Devils