Are the Cages "the new bad boys of folk music?" Their record company seems to think so. But these two model-handsome, long-hair hippie throwbacks, Clayton Cages and Richard Aven (who calls himself simply Aven), don't seem particularly bad or new (their inspiration, Clayton says, includes Neil Young's 1972 gem, Harvest).
While Hometown captures the sound of that era without the fury, the dozen songs do show real talent, featuring dueling harmonies and melodies that soar. On the title track, the duo reeks of sincerity. The Cages rattle best when they're most playful, as on "Too Tired," whose pure pop chorus chimes, "I'm too tired/ I'm too stoned/ I'm too stupid to leave the house." Which might be the perfect time to play this postcard from another era. (Capitol)