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Band Alternative Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


This band has no press


Cavil at Rest - EP
Apples to Oranges - EP
Highjacked at Sea - EP
Orion Way (2007)


Feeling a bit camera shy



Ryan Hahn and Taylor Rice, guitar/vocalists from Southern California, have only ever been in one band. They met in high school and started a group, something many restless teen boys do. Very few of such projects ever make it out of the garage, but four years, a few recordings, and a fair amount of lineup changes later, Hahn and Rice find themselves in the same band, honing the same project with different tools, sharing the same bloodline with different brothers: Kelcey Ayer (guitar/vocals), Andy Action (bass), and Matthew Frazier (drums). Only now when they play, people are listening. They are called Cavil at Rest.

“We have something special,” says Hahn with conviction, nodding to the others. “We feel like brothers. This is where I need to be and where they need to be.”

Cavil at Rest, a five-piece based out of South Orange County where the scope of art and culture typically extends to chain restaurants and dolphin paintings, is a bit of an independent rock anomaly. For starters, their sound is hard to peg.

“I mean, I did the hardcore thing, I’ve done the funk thing [specifically] in other bands,” says Action. “This is different—we have so many different styles but you can always tell that it’s Cavil.”

With unexpected song structures, cross-genre instrumental arrangements, and nods to the past five decades—Cavil might channel the raw rock energy of a band like MC5 as naturally as the cool harmonics of Beach Boys or the eclectic freestyling of now-defunct At the Drive In—the sound of Cavil at Rest is one of mix-and-match influences and an overflowing bank of musical knowledge.

“We’re all such fans of just music in general and what it is capable of doing,” says Hahn. “As far as influences go, it’s the Zombies, CSNY, Radiohead, Motown, jazz, you name it.” Later, he adds, “I’ve always had respect for people who can write a great pop song. It’s not something easily done.”

Unlike many of their peers, the band doesn’t expend words spouting angry anthems or mindless limericks. If anything their verses tend towards proud and provocative—but the guys balk at the idea of being preachy.

“We want the listener to do with the song what they will,” says Hahn. “They can take it at face value and leave it at that. Or they can go deeper—the lyrics definitely hold up under scrutiny, and usually have another meaning if you take the time look at it another way. It’s not meant to be cryptic—it’s just supposed to get you to be introspective, to make you stop and think.”

“We don’t want [the music] to just be a sugar rush,” adds Action. “We want people to say, ‘I don’t feel guilty for liking this. I think it’s intelligent.’”

Another oddity the band is happy to share. “We tend to be really prolific, we’re just constantly writing,” says Hahn. “All of our songs are available online. We’ve just wanted people to download them for free; listen to them, give them to your friends, pass it on.”

Perhaps it is their warm and fuzzy approach to musical outreach that has gained them such a loyal following in just a handful of years. Having not yet even entertained the idea of signing to a record label, the band has manned their own statewide tours, graced the stages of notable stages like the Whisky A Go-Go and the Knitting Factory, and shared bills with modern heroes like Jimmy Eat World and She Wants Revenge.

And at the show it isn’t the audiences joined together crowd slamming and fist pumping so much as toe tapping and singing. “We're simply plotting world domination by way of catchy melodies and foot stomping,” insists Hahn with a grin. “We play our songs and invite people to join us. Come join us. We have a lot of fun.”

Perhaps most unique of all is that Cavil at Rest is ready to evolve, perhaps into a band that tours the world and sells millions of records and lives the dream—but they don’t want it to come easy. “We want to earn it,” declares Action. “We want to be working it. We need to prove our longevity.”

How many SoCal bands can even spell longevity?

Hahn sighs. “Everyone thinks we’re from Europe.”