The Cults’ self-titled debut album drops June 7; the retro girl-group power of Madeline Follin’s multi-tracked deep echo vocals combine with Brian Oblivion’s (a rocker’s name if we ever heard one) powerful guitar is one sweet concoction that yields a darker, more penetrating aftertaste than one might first think possible.
This Brooklyn –based duo’s album harkens back to the innocence and appeal of Leslie Gore and/or the Phil Spector Wall of Sound, yet drives forward into the imminent disasters and anxiety of the present age. We are treated to 11 songs in 34 minutes, which hardly qualifies as album length these days, but this work is much more than the sum of its parts. Just as a summer thunderstorm brings relief at the end of an oppressively brilliant day, and even enhances the experience, so works the magic of the music of The Cults on the listener.
“I never wanted a single thing for my life / All I wanted was to know that I have never wasted my time,” Follin sings with passionate commitment in “Oh My God.”
And as for Abducted, the opening track, its explosive qualities are addictive, immediate and satisfying, proving that old adage that less is more.
Hip-hop beats, upbeat melodies, hand claps and glockenspiel (!) abound on the album, but that hardly describes the mesmerizing qualities of Follin into an Oblivion-driven cult, if you’ll excuse the pun.
There’s not much available on the group, but this we’ve tracked down:
They’re both 21, come from San Diego, and are now studying film in New York. They’re a couple, and they only began making music together a few months ago, posting a few songs online for the amusement of friends. They’re not complete naifs, and have some experience of the music industry: they met when Brian Oblivion (who takes his alias from the movie Videodrome) was tour-managing singer Madeline Follin’s brother’s group, the Willowz, while Follin herself, via her art dealer mother, once cut a record with Dee Dee Ramone, and, via her stepdad’s band Youth Gone Mad, did a cover of Amoeba by US hardcore punks the Adolescents, which in turn led to an offer of a record contract. She was nine years old and, she says, “I had a voice like a chipmunk”.
– From Paul Lester in The Guardian
Quickly gaining a lot of buzz, this heavily-hyped group has emerged with one of the best debut albums of the year. Loaded with singles, genre-busting and brilliantly produced, The Cults is a Must Have record.
Highly recommended. Vivascene rating: 9.0
Watch: Cults ‘Abducted’
Watch: Cults ‘Go Outside’
Watch: Cults ‘You Know What I Mean’