Cults – s/t

Rating: ★★★½☆

For a band that basically came out of nowhere last year, Cults have gathered quite the following in the past year that they have released music. Be it praise from various musical critics, or just growing popularity of fans, this band had a lot of hype. However, upon listening to this self-titled debut, it is clear that this excitement and attention is well deserved; Cults have crafted a gem of a summer album here.

The band opens with “Abducted,” an explosive and energetic entrance. For about the first thirty seconds, you have the muted and echoed version of Madeline Follin’s angsty vocals, playing the role of heartbroken female. Then things get turned up to full volume for the chorus, and the song takes off, xylophone raging right alongside Follin’s voice whist she screams the pain away. She hands the vocals over to the male perspective of the two-member group, Brian Oblivion, who assumes the position of heartbreaker, giving the song the edgy tradeoff between the two of them. After this song fades away, the single that got everyone talking about this band, “Go Outside” follows and keeps the energetic and sinfully sweet pacing for this band.

A big part of this album is the large youthful presence of several elements of the band. For starters, you have the valley girl esque, high pitched, and extremely female vocals. Accompanying this is a Fisher Price sounding xylophone, which only adds to the childlike feeling of Cults’ sound. It reaches an all time kiddy feeling on the song “Oh My God,” whose chorus sounds akin to a little girl taunting one of her playmates, which is ironic in that lyrics reach farther than that. It’s a cute little number, one that stands out from the others on the latter half of the album.

That being said, the extreme amount of energy that makes it enjoyable is also what makes it sound a bit too juvenile and grating after repeated listening. For this reason, this album becomes one that needs the right mood to be listened to, as opposed to an all day every day kind of release. But when you’re in that youthful and happy go lucky mood, there are a slew of great tracks to dance to and enjoy. As a first release, it’s a decent start for Cults and I look for interesting future albums from this duo.

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