The Cab – “Symphony Soldier” (2011, Z Entertainment)
Reviewer: Corey Thibodeaux
This album wasn’t supposed to happen.
When The Cab released its first album, Whisper War, in 2007 and earned moderate success with the bumping hit “Bounce.” There was enough exposure and talent in that debut to assume that the band would jump to some form of stardom. Before that jump ever happened, members of the band left to pursue other ventures, pushing lead singer Alex DeLeon to ask for a new guitarist on Twitter. Adding to the hardships, earlier this year the group left Fueled by Ramen, the label who produces similar bands such as Paramore, Panic! at the Disco and Cobra Starship. So without a couple founding members and a label, The Cab funded Symphony Soldier all on its own. And what they created is nothing short of amazing.
For those who don’t know, The Cab is a pop-rock band with an emo edge playing Warped Tour though they can easily fit into top-40 radio (Bruno Mars and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine contributed to the album). It’s like listening to a Jonas Brothers/ Fall Out Boy hybrid without any of the guilt. But even that’s not a fair comparison because they have defined themselves as a unique entity and its only a matter of time until the masses get a hold of them.
The vocals need no enhancing and it’s a shame DeLeon’s voice hasn’t been more recognized. And in what is now the trademark of this band, the upbeat melodies are a simple yet complex delight to hear. Noted by the album title and the first track, “Angel With a Shotgun”, The Cab fought all of its struggles in recent years with music while keeping their identity as a refreshingly innocent bunch with an occasional act of lust or cold-heartedness. There are so many good things going on this album yet it all meshes well together. From the adorable “Endlessly” to the raunchy “Animal”, the one consistency is the absolute catchy and feel-good tone no matter what the content of the song is.
Symphony Soldier is more representative of the band than the album, fighting through hardships for the sake of music in a diluted industry and coming out ahead. And they have plenty of ammo left.