Far from Home
Open Cage. Definitions: What four guys in Philly do in their spare time. A guitar, a bass, some drums, one hell of a voice...and songs that don't suck. Infectious melodic rock, pure and simple. ----- 'Far From Home' is the first full-length CD release from the independent Pop Rock band OpenCage. OpenCage was formed in Philadelphia in 1995 and has been writing and performing their special brand of Infectious Melodic Rock ever since. The songwriting genius of Bill Sullivan shines on this release, loaded with terrific upbeat and catchy tunes like the blistering 'Use Me' and toe-tappers 'Call It A Night' and 'Good For You.' 'You Move Me' and 'One More Day' are two sultry rock ballads featuring vocalist Ray Burtoff at his jaw-dropping best. The band get back to their roots with the thought-provoking acoustic number 'Zero' and Keith Messner's two instrumental pieces will leave you breathless. ----- REVIEWS: Packed with enough hooks and melodies to make any SFKer happy, this PA band caught me totally by surprise. When I popped the disc in for a listen I was not in the best of moods and honestly wasn't expecting much. By the end of the first song my mood had swung and I was quickly grabbing the liners to find out more. The band calls itself 'infectious melodic rock' and that's about right on target but there are hints of modern pop thrown in as well. This band deserves exposure far beyond what I and various melodic press can give them. They really have the sound that seems to effortlessly blend genres and if this were on a major, I have no doubt it would be all over radio. Hit their website, buy this disc and spread it around. It could be big... [Similarities: Matchbox 20, Smithereens, Live] SFK, Striktly for Konnissuers ----- If I were looking to manage a Philadelphia original band, I'd make a pitch for Open Cage. They've got hooks, truly memorable songwriting and a definitive melodic niche. This is a band that's marketable without being mundane, and in a medium that makes a claim to be all about songs, Open Cage has more than enough horses under the hood. Guitarist Bill Sullivan (who also played in the noted Philly original band They Eat Their Young) is the main songwriter, as well as an exceptionally tight and inventive guitarist. Bassist Keith Messner (who has also worked in A Room With A View) is an active and tasteful player in the Geddy Lee (Rush) tradition. Drummer Chris Cemini provides a steady, driving foundation, and combined with the stunning vocals of Ray Burtoff, Open Cage makes for a very heady mix. With most good unsigned original bands, you listen to their best work, count on improvement as they acquire experience and more songs, and hope that they catch a break before they give up in frustration. Open Cage is different. Success for this band really does seem inevitable; the hooks and songs are that good. The only question is how big the splash will be, as well as who will be around to cash in when it happens. Dave Mountain Freelance Music Writer & Publicity Consultant for the Philadelphia Music Conference ----- If you prefer your rock with a slightly more poppy edge like Cheap Trick mixed with the Rembrandts you might like Open Cage. AOR Basement.