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10 REVIEWS OF THE NEW CULTS ALBUM – 4: the bad review (U.K.)

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by Princess Stomper

This isn’t my type of thing at all. My tapping toes haven’t realised this yet.

The first few bars – which have me straining to hear and wondering if my headphones are plugged in properly – remind me of the Rockabye Baby lullabye covers for tots. Then when things get serious, I’m hearing the shadow of Phil Spector. I recognise ‘Go Outside’ immediately. I recall hearing it, thinking it was fairly good, and thinking “what sort of a fucking stupid name is Cults?” when I tried to Google for info. It’s like trying to search for The The on YouTube. (I’ve tried. Futile.)

They’re the kind of band where you hear pretty much all there is to hear in one song. It’s 60s-style pop through the shimmering time-warp of (what the hell are we calling this decade?) lo-fi hipster pop-rock. By the sixth song (which follows the deliciously interesting ‘Walk At Night’), I’ve figured I’ve heard quite enough. If I don’t switch it off soon, I’ll find myself launching into an impromptu a capella take on ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’, which should indicate just how twinkly and Spectorish (Spectral?) Cults’ album is.

Each song is only around three minutes long, which is a blessing. The repetitiveness becomes jarring – it actually gets boring – though never quite enough to stop listening altogether. At least closer ‘Rave On’ is sufficiently different to snap you out of your stupor. The song ends at an odd point, which is faintly unsatisfying, like the album it concludes. It’s just like a bag of those fun-sized Mars bars: nice to dip into, but a bit much if you try to wolf the lot in one go.

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