Cults - Static

by Alexander Segall Rating:5.5 Release Date:2013-10-14

From a loved-up debut to post-break up melancholy, Cults mine the same sound for darker effect. Static continues with the jangly, droning shoegaze-meets-Phil Spector approach but this time, instead of being happily in love with Brian Oblivion, Madeline Follin has turned away (literally on the album cover) to yearn for better times.  ‘Always Forever’ and ‘I Could Hardly Make You Mine’ sardonically take love’s tropes and turn them inside out; ‘Keep Your Head Up’ turns from a lament into a stomper.  


The most interesting element in what is, essentially, a pastiche of a sound, is that now they’ve broken up, Oblivion’s backing vocals sound either creepily echoing or resignedly agreeing, depending on what mood you are in when you listen to them. In themselves, songs such as ‘Were Before’ and ‘No Hope’ do lift the mood, but as an overall piece, it’s a short blast of depression dressed up as a retro record.  The artifice doesn’t sit well with what could have been a particularly poignant breakup album. As it is, this is one for the twee, not the heartbroken.

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