Self-admittedly, this album and this band are sort of new to me, and it’s interesting because for a band that I thought I didn’t know, a few of the songs were immediately recognizable. Further, the overall sound was instantly recognizable, and I instinctively tried to pigeonhole it, but ultimately found that the album was more faceted than I’d originally anticipated.
Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion are the songwriting duo known as the Cults. Their debut LP, released in June 2011, doesn’t reshape a movement or explore new territory, but it doesn’t purport to. This album simply delivers pleasing ear candy. Its two opening tracks, Abducted and Go Outside, place incredibly catchy, well-constructed pop hooks into a newgaze environment. A low-fi haze shades the vocals, tints the drums and consumes most everything else; at times a shimmery riff cuts through the fog.
And so it is for the rest of the nine remaining songs, so much so that a few are easily forgettable; or perhaps a more accurate statement would be to say that they don’t demand attention. This is (and last summer was literally) a perfect sun season record, one you could put on and drift away to. While the album definitely has a pop sensibility, including some very strong early 60s pop influences, the Cults offer enough noisy breaks and murky, reverb-soaked sounds to avoid being sugary.