Drug Cabin (EP)

Drug Cabin

Civil Records, 2012


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The solo project of Nathan Thelen (better known as the former frontman for indie rock stars Pretty Girls Make Graves and then later on Moonrats), Drug Cabin really only came to life cause Thelen wanted to lay down some music he had been assembling for fun. After setting up space at Josh Klinghoffer's (Red Hot Chili Peppers) house and taking on Nick DeWitt (Liars) as producer, Drug Cabin was born. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

A six-song debut, Drug Cabin is nothing if not upbeat, and full of warm melodies. Thelen borrows from his previous bands in that the instrumentation is far from typical, yet he simultaneously moves away from the signature sound of Pretty Girls Make Graves. The EP starts off with “Whatever Never,” the liveliest track here that brings to mind a matching of Brian Wilson's laid back vibes with the nostalgic pop of The Beatles. “Barracuda” keeps the pace strong, displaying jangly rhythms with maracas and maintaining a '60s rock sensibility.

At track three, “On The Mountain,” the EP shifts into more campfire-esque, folk pop territory. This is an acoustic led song that allows Thelen's voice to take center stage, and he complements this shifting of gears with piano and slide guitar. “One Face” follows, and it’s the most experimental song here, tinged with sadness among the ambitious instrumentation. And not so surprising, the EP closes on “The One I Love,” an aptly titled tune seeing as most of the wordplay here surrounds relationships and love.

Though this EP was entirely Thelen's vision, these days Marcus Congleton, formerly of Ambulance LTD, has jumped on board. Currently the pair is working on new tracks where they both sing and share songwriting duties. At its onset, this disc would be the perfect soundtrack to a hazy, playful day at the beach, while the latter half is ideal for when the sun sets and you're curled up with the object of your affection listening to the waves.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2012 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Civil Records, and is used for informational purposes only.