CD, Metropolis, 2006
“A Young Person’s Guide to Heartbreak” is the second release from this US-based four-piece to be released through the Metropolis label. With a pretty good track record and a sizeable following under their belt, Battery Cage naturally have some expectations set for them.
Gladly, while not a masterpiece in itself, “A Young Person’s Guide to Heartbreak” does the job of meeting said expectations. Aggressive vocal styling and heavily distorted guitars are the order of the hour, and the band delivers these in spades, satisfying both those among us in need of a testosterone fix as well as the more regularly aggressive listeners. The piano and drums, while present, feel more as assistance and backdrop upon which the guitars and vocals are layered. Even so, they manage to offer some of the more melodic moments – mostly breathers between the many bouts of lyrical aggression. The addition of samples often works in enhancing the mood of a given track or as a starting point for the build-up of a track’s theme.
Speaking of which, “A Young Person’s Guide to Heartbreak” is, rather unsurprisingly, a record loaded with the varying gradients of love, hate and loss. Unfortunately the over-saturation of this theme doesn’t help the album in avoiding a good number of clichés as far as lyrics go, which in combination with its full length leads it to become somewhat tiring when listened to in a single run or when not in a fitting emotional state (i.e., on the brink of depressive). In this respect the album is often saved by its more aggressive tracks.
Overall “A Young Person’s Guide to Heartbreak” is a very good album, offering a satisfying amount of diversity which itself is only diminished by the length and somewhat limited focus of the lyrics. As far as delivery goes, this record packs a mighty punch and is set to provide some sound entertainment; be it in the form of company during contemplation of love long lost, or a soundtrack to driving 100 mph to nowhere with your newfound partner…
— George Mouratidis