The Cab

Whisper War

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From the very beginning of Whisper War, it becomes obvious that Las Vegas' the Cab are indebted to Panic at the Disco and Fall Out Boy, and not just because Pete Wentz and Spencer Smith are listed in the liner notes as members of the band's A&R team. Over the album's first three songs ("One of Those Nights," "Bounce," and "I'll Run), the Cab musically reference both bands, as well as Maroon 5, in enough ways that they run the risk of sounding like imitators. Some leniency is merited -- their debut captures a group of musicians just barely out of high school, so it's understandable that the Cab would work with what's familiar -- and Whisper War does show that they have enough talent to branch out and explore new sounds, even if they're not quite ready to do so here. The good news is that every youthful misstep, such as the overwrought lyrics on "Risky Business," is compensated for through bright, enthusiastic performances. One of the Cab's biggest strengths lies in their ability to craft catchy pop tunes, especially infectious choruses. Alex DeLeon is particularly adept at bringing these melodies to life with a voice that is sweet, clear, and plaintive. The rest of the band also shows promise, especially pianist Alex Marshall, whose subtle performance adds a layer of depth that brings excitement to songs such as "ZZZZZ." None of the songs have much space to showcase any solo work, but the bandmembers are comfortable with each other, something that makes songs like the standout "That '70s Song" sparkle. It's this ability to work as a strong ensemble that sets the Cab apart, and also what makes Whisper War a good start for the young band.

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