Cults – Cults (S/T) Cults – Cults (S/T)

Cults - Cults (S/T)

The early signs were good. Cults released their debut single “Go Outside” in the summer of 2010, and the blogosphere lit up with speculation. I say “released” – “Go Outside” just sort’ve appeared on the internet along with two other tracks, but it was enough to whet the appetite. We knew there was two of them- a boy and a girl – and that they were armed with catchy, summery tunes. But just how far these pleasant sounds of borrowed nostalgia could go was another matter – the 00’s are littered with acts making a name for themselves off the back of one good track and their internet connection. Thankfully Cults have opted for steady quality over instant quantity, and their self titled debut album is a joyfully catchy summer record.

Cults’ sound revolves around lead vocalist Madeline Follin crooning over guys, or guys being in her way, or guys abducting her (metaphorically speaking) or telling guys to go fuck themselves – and coupling these short stories with layers of glockenspiel and samples- which do wonders to take the sting out of such volatile subject matter. Follin’s vocals range from the heartfelt – “He tore me apart ’cause I really loved him” (The driven pop of ‘Abducted’)- to the petulant , “…Fuck you” (‘Never Heal Myself’).

The sweet/sinister dynamic is one continued throughout Cults, particularly the odd choice of samples (“Go Outside” begins with cult (ha) leader Jim Jones proclaiming, ‘To me death is not a fearful thing, it’s living that’s treacherous’ ) . Added to that Follin’s dark lyrical content , “‘Cause I am afraid of the light yeah you know what I mean” and Cults shows a diversity many wouldn’t have foreseen last summer.

Special mention has to go to standout track “Bumper”, perfectly suited for summer and as catchy as anything on offer here. Strong but silent cult Brian Oblivion (what a name ) gets an outing here, as the pair embark on a his and hers call and response number, Follin offering the female take “I’ve had it up to here/I can’t take this anymore” whilst Oblivion provides the genius ,”If she’s this crazy now/ There’s no telling what’s in store”. I chuckled.

Nearly every song on Cults feels familiar, but yet every one of them is diverse enough to avoid repetition or becoming samey. What’s more, to simply nod and dismiss this nack of penning instantly familiar, catchy tunes as a sort of cheap trick or gimmick is to do a disservice to the song writing on show. Yes, the lyrics may be at times a sickly sweet tirade on every single ex boyfriend that ever has been- but frankly, if you’re giving me that on the end of a tune like “Bumper” or “Abducted”, then fire away.

1. Abducted
2. Go Outside
3. You Know What I Mean
4. Most Wanted
5. Walk At Night
6. Never Heal Myself
7. Oh My God
8. Never Saw The Point
9. Bad Things
10. Bumper
11. Rave On

Cults - Cults (S/T), reviewed by Lemon on 2011-06-07T10:51:27-07:00 rating 4.1 out of 5

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