August 07, 2003

Cabrini "show-offs get hurt"

Cabrini, the project of Kory Ross and Austin Bean--two fellows from bands you've never heard of--is a band that redefines mellow. Show Offs Get Hurt, their debut album, runs no risk of being hurt, because they're not really showing off--after all, it ain't bragging if you can do it, and boy, Cabrini can do it. Show Offs Get Hurt doesn't sound like a low-budget home recording, but it is.

At times, Show Offs Get Hurt sounds an awful lot like a band I don't really care for, Death Cab for Cutie. Not only do Ross and Bean sound like them, they could easily pass as Ben Gibbard. Don't believe me? Think I'm indulging myself in Lazy Music Writer Hyperbole? Just listen to "Say 'I Love You'" and tell me I'm wrong. Go on, I dare you. See, you can't say that I'm wrong about that one. I'm not jumping to the sound of hip band references, either. If anything, they also should remind you that Death Cab For Cutie were, at one time, considered Built to Spill imitators. Then again, "Nine Thirty Line" sounds a lot like The Beatles' "You Won't See Me" via Aztec Camera, so it's not all about Gibbard.

Unlike Death Cab for Cutie's albums, Show Offs Get Hurt has not one bum note, not one wasted song, not one minute that should be/could be better. For a young band, this level of excellence is to be commended, even if it might happen to sound like the forthcoming album by Great White Indie Rock Hype. Cabrini's blend of soft, soothing atmospheres, kinda-sad but still smart lyrics, and the creamy crooning of Ross and Bean really cannot be beat.

If you're eager to hear the new Death Cab for Cutie record, yet have the moral compunction to not download it, then you should do yourself a favor and seek out Show Offs Get Hurt. You'll be glad you did--because not only will you not be stealing money out of Ben Gibbard's mouth, you'll also be giving money to two young men whose music deserves to be heard.

--Joseph Kyle

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