Provident Label Group

Release Date: March 6th 2020

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

CAIN– CAIN EP (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Rise Up (Lazarus)
  2. Over My Head
  3. Revival
  4. The Commission
  5. Yes He Can
  6. My Father In Me

In the history of CCM music, new bands have formed, and older bands have disbanded. Or maybe the same new bands have disbanded within a year or two… but actually in the history of music that’s the case also. It’s just that some bands are fortunate to last a long time- 10 years or 20 years or longer, while others fold within the first couple of albums. For one reason or another, whether it is through the support of family and friends, or maybe just that the general public supports one particular band over another; it’s just the way it is as to why some bands succeed while others fail. And as we have more and more bands introduce themselves onto the music stage year after year after year; how can we ever keep up with the inflow of many groups with potential greatness? Is there a band saturation? Because if there is, then what hope do up and coming band CAIN have in breaking into the Christian market? A month or so ago, CCM/pop sibling trio CAIN burst onto the scene- comprising of Taylor Cain Matz, Madison Cain Johnson and Logan Cain- and dropped their self-titled EP CAIN. Standing at 6 songs long, and with the release having dropped via Provident Label Group; one might wonder is CAIN are a band that are here to stay for a long time, or whether they’ll be a one hit wonder. So many bands have fallen down and given up at the release of their 2nd album, their sophomore album (which is why it’s called the sophomore slump!); so is there a chance that CAIN is like that? Well, judging from the calibre of their debut EP, and if the quality is sustained for years to come… well CAIN won’t be disbanding for any time soon! One of my favourite EP’s of the year thus far, CAIN is definitely for fans of artists like I Am They and Rend Collective, or any worship band who’s fed up with the same old releases from Hillsong and Planetshakers!

Opening the track list is the CCM-esque radio friendly “Rise Up (Lazarus)”, which is in fact the band’s debut single! As Logan leads this poppy melody, with a voice errily similar to Mike Donehey from Tenth Avenue North, we are blessed to hear the group vividly speak about us each coming alive in Jesus through a metaphor of Lazarus coming out of the grave. As we are presented with the inevitable truth that we can ‘…rise up, take a breath, you’re alive now, can’t you hear the voice of Jesus calling us out from the grave like Lazarus, you’re brand new, the power of death couldn’t hold you…He’s calling us to walk out of the dark, He’s giving us new resurrected hearts…’, I can’t help but fervently sing about with the band as well- this track is perfect as the opener and as the lead single, “Over My Head” is next, as Logan relays to us that being in a relationship with Jesus is like being ‘over my head’, yet this sheer unpreparedness of being in union with the God of the universe isn’t a bad thing at all, after all it’s pretty exciting and enthralling, as we fall in love with our Maker day after day after day!’

“Revival” is next, and is a testimony type melody, a mid tempo ballad led by stirring electric guitar and a radio friendly atmosphere, with the theme similar to Matthew West’s “Brand New”. As the girls take over vocals and emphatically highlight to us the need for us to go back to our childlike faith from before, and the need for God to stir a revival in our hearts; we are presented with probably one of the most important tracks on the EP. “The Commission”, a slower ballad led by acoustic guitar, ssung from God’s perspective about what He could have told the disciples before his ascension into heaven (‘…go tell the world about Me, I was dead, but now I live, I’ve gotta go now for a little while, but goodbye is not the end…’), while the happy-go-lucky uplifter “Yes He Can” is basically an encourager detailing that just because times are tough now, God’s promises do not change, and yes, He can help us in our trials because of what He has done in the past- we may not understand what God does now, but in the end everything will work out to God’s glory and our good. However the EP ender “My Father In Me” is my favourite song on the album as once again Madison and Taylor shine at singing together in harmony, detailing to a friend, probably a non-believer, that ‘…if there’s anything true in my life, anything right that makes you start dreaming of a higher place, any kindness I show, any good thing can only be, you’re just seeing my Father in me…’. Sometimes we may come down too hard and preach fire and brimstone to our friends who we deeply want to see come to Christ, however loving them like Jesus and showing Jesus to them is by far the better approach. “My Father In Me” testifies to this fact!

Sky is the limit for the three siblings in CAIN. A full length debut project may not be too far away, and while the band can’t tour at the moment due to the global situation of COVID-19; what we all can do in our homes while we are cooped up, is to listen to this EP pronto! Part country, part bluegrass, part worship, part pop and fully inspirational, it is my hope and prayer than CAIN are around for a long time. One listen to this EP and you’d agree with me! So what are you waiting for guys? Take a chance on Madison, Logan and Taylor. I promise you- you won’t be disappointed!

Score: 4/5

3 songs to listen to: Rise Up, Yes He Can, My Father In Me

RIYL:  Rend Collective, I Am They, Tenth Avenue North, Jason Castro, Chris Sligh, Colton Dixon

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