The Cabin Fever‘s latest EP, “Exercise The Demon”, balances catharsis and slowness with dreamy, shoegazey rock. Beautiful string arrangements glide just beneath fuzzy guitar and husky vocals in tracks that are riddled with dark, desolate lyrics, and the eight alt-rock songs are nothing short of haunting.
“Exercise The Demon” opens with “B-L-S-H”, a spooky rock ballad with faded guitar and bass bubbling underneath. Its echoing vocals from frontman Sean Moriarty are haunting; in fact, each of the tracks on the EP is evocative in its own way. “Simon Says” is a rich palette of deep, colorful sounds, building and layering to become an intricate and surprisingly accessible track. The rest of it follows a similarly cathartic vein, dragging up anxieties and inner demons with heavy instrumentals and even heavier lyrics–until the title track, which is a perfect ending to an emotionally exhausting EP.
Technically the final track before three bonus songs, “Exercise The Demon” clocks in around seven minutes long. The first half rings true to the rest of the EP in terms of sound, but it soon drops off into a softer sound that feels purgative in the same way as heaving a long breath after a good cry. It’s a brief reprieve from the intensity of the rest of the EP, and there’s an odd sense of cleanliness to it.
The Cabin Fever’s “Exercise The Demons” EP is dark and heavy, yes, but it exists to distract listeners from their own anxieties with the demons of a shoegazey alt-rock band, aided by shimmering riffs, gruff vocals, and hard-hitting lyrics. It comes out tomorrow, February 2, but in the meantime, check out the two singles (“Trucrime” and “Exercise the demon”) below.