First Release In Five Years – Cage The Elephant “Neon Pill” Single Review

Written by on January 20, 2024

Review by Emily Rabeno | January 19, 2024

You may know alternative rock band Cage The Elephant from two of their biggest hits “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” and “Cigarette Daydreams.” The Kentucky natives have five studio albums in total, the most recent release being their April 2019 their album Social Cues – That is, until today. After five years, Cage The Elephant has made their comeback with their new single called, “Neon Pill.”

I’ve been a Cage The Elephant fan since 2019, a few months after they released Social Cues. I discovered the band through their hit “Cigarette Daydreams,” and after listening to their whole discography I noticed I knew more songs than I had previously thought I had. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with this band.

This was my first release I’ve experienced with Cage The Elephant. My favorite part of waiting for new music is staying up till midnight and seeing that “New Release” notice on Spotify. It was even more special seeing this with Cage The Elephant after waiting for so long for new music.

I had no expectations for this song, I didn’t even listen to the teaser of it when they posted the announcement. I went in completely blind. As soon as the song started playing once it was released, it was clear what sound they were going for. They’ve made albums that are rock based and alternative based, if this song is followed up with an album it will definitely be on the more alternative side. “Neon Pill” sounds like it would have been on their previous albums Social Cues or Tell Me I’m Pretty (2015).

When first playing the single, I was far from disappointed. The opening line made my jaw drop because of the way it sounded, and of course I was ecstatic to finally hear new music. After listening for about an hour on repeat, I started paying closer attention to the lyrics. In my opinion, it sounds like something the lead singer Matthew Shultz went through last year.

January 7, 2023 Matthew Shultz was under the influence of drugs and started to get paranoid that someone was after him. He was in the Manhattan Hotel in New York and was caught with a weapon with no license for it in the state of New York.

The song opens with “It takes one to know one / Back at it again.” Assuming this relates to this incident, Shultz admits to his problem, but there are others who have this problem as well.

The chorus is as follows: “It’s a hit and run, oh no / Double-crossed by a neon pill / Like a loaded gun, my love / Double-crossed, crossed by a neon pill.” This “Neon Pill” sounds like a drug that he could be referring to what he took in January 2023 because the weapon he was in possession of was a loaded gun.

The second verse talks about an old love and the taste of a familiar Chapstick from back in the day. He continues to sing in French the next few lyrics and his ex-wife is a French singer. This sounds like it’s a song about the incident that happened in New York City and hints that his problem with drugs took over his life and Shultz alienated himself from people, especially his ex-wife.

A deep meaning like this is very normal for a Cage The Elephant song. Nonetheless, the song itself and the tune of it is just super good. I am looking forward to seeing what the future of Cage The Elephant holds!

Featured image from Amazon.