Preview: Cults Live @ Neumos
November 17, 2013
By Derek York
My mind envisions a montage of David Lynch movie scenese when I hear the band Cults. (That montage now includes a Nokia ad with neon scooters add, but hey…) I totally dig the ethereal reverb-filled vocals and vintage guitar tones that make up their distinct brand of music.
I saw Cults a couple summers ago at Neumos during the Capitol Hill Block Party. They were great; my only complaint was they didn’t play a very long set. At the time, they were already riding the popularity of songs “Abducted” and “Go Outside,” so they stuck to the radio playlist.
On November 17 I have the chance to get a full show from the New York City band, complete with new material. Their recently-released second album, Static, is a good grouping of tunes. Their Motown-meets-shoegaze sound is still firmly in place and just as catchy as ever.
I won’t use a word like “mature” due to how young their sound feels, but it definitely feels like they took a few steps away from the radio-friendly pop hit formula of “Go Ouside” on Static. This one’s a little darker, if only a little cloudy compared to the debut’s brilliant shiny sunshine.
“We’ve Got It” and “I Can Hardly Make You Mine” are two songs with a “tougher” feel and a strong drive, which makes them stand out, though they may only seem more aggressive because they’re surrounded by such gentleness. Any of the tracks off Static could easily find radio success, and I hope they play them all on Sunday.
I’m getting there early so I don’t miss Mood Rings, who will be opening the show. They are a new band to me. From what I’ve heard so far, I set them in the realm of bands such as Tame Impala, Blonde Redhead, or even Cults, with their sound leaning towards fuzzy sonic prettiness. Their brand of ambiance will fit well with Cults and be a warm soundtrack for greeting friends over cocktails.