Cults: Static – review


Cults' eponymous debut pondered modern love against the backdrop of the bustling pace of life. Two years on, the San Diego-born, New York-based band are no longer also a romantic pairing, which seems to have given their music a giddier, frantic edge. Their second album remains indebted to 60s girl groups and bubblegum pop, but joyous songs are delivered through gritted teeth. "You and me, always forever," sings Madeline Follin at one point. However, shortly afterwards, she concludes "No more tears to cry for you." The sad, relationship-wearied undercurrent of songs such as Were Before ("We both need it all anew, just the way we were before") is belied by the huge, wind-tunnel production, from which Static emerges like Saint Etienne produced by Phil Spector. Catchy basslines and Motown beats abound: Always Forever is beautifully bittersweet. If there's no one sublime, gigantic tune dominating things like Go Outside did on their debut, it may be the stronger album overall. Breaking up may be hard to do, but can be fascinating to hear.


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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