Oh, the Beauty

Govern the Good Life (Dead Bird Dancing Records)

By John Bohannon

I can usually count on both hands in a year the bands I really anticipate to hear more of and the ones that impress me can be clocked in with less than 5 fingers. This year one of those bands is Louisville's new melodic outfit Cabin. They have created a debut that knocks the socks clear off most current national bands recording at the moment. It's only a matter a time before these guys are the next "hometown heroes," a band that we will be packing into venues to see five years down the road.

Lead singer Noah Hewitt-Ball could easily be compared to the likes of Coldplay's Chris Martin but I think that would be an understatement - Martin couldn't sing this damn pretty on his best day (maybe that's my hatred for Coldplay speaking, but Ball still wins by a landslide). Ever since the two-song EP released several months ago, a Cabin craving has been well in force - and is well fulfilled with Govern the Good Life.

The opening cut "Because it Wasn't Perfect" is one of those tracks you leave on repeat during a long drive home to contemplate life and its meaning. (OK, so maybe that's a little overdramatic, but the keyboard riff leaves you in a trance that is hard to escape.) It is one of those tracks that I could put in my songs-to-live-by collection because it inspires with the lines: We'll not give up / We'll not let go / What's done is done / Now let's do more / We'll not grow up / We'll not grow up / Blow up the Earth then praise the Lord.

Every track just shimmers with beauty - i.e. the string accompaniment in "Beauty on the East End" followed by the howling vocals of Ball telling us to "relive our Golden Years." The band just makes all the problems in the world seem distant during "A Voice that Carries" when he sings, Solve those little problems girl / You don't need them anymore / You still have a while / To come around and smile.

One of the things I truly adore about this band is its use of lyricism. Cabin relates to society as a whole on a completely different level than most bands are doing and I think this is what attracted me to them when I first heard the band's first single, "Honest Man." After the first dozen listens, I knew this band would not only creep their way into my top 10 of 2005 list with ease, but into a band I'm going to follow for years to come.

Cabin is a band making brilliant music without trying too hard. It's one of those rare occasions where you can tell the band is just going by its natural feel and the chemistry between members flows perfectly. I hope these guys know they are good and continue to make records, because if they feel this passionately about the work they have done, these guys have something no one can even attempt to take away.