A Cult(s) I Can Get Down With

Cults – Bad Things from Cults

A lot of the songs I write about come from my musical roundhouse of my teens and early 20s, since those are the songs I’ve known the longest and are associated with good memories of youth.  As you get older, I find it harder to recapture that same feeling for new music.  You’re not the blank slate, musically, you were as a young person and impressions about music you hear now usually gets put through the prism of those hits from yonder.  Even when I really like something, it doesn’t stir that same feeling.

Well, the Cults got me.  From top to bottom, this album is full of songs that make me feel like a kid again.  After starting with the one-two punch of Abducted and Go Outside, the album continues with strong tunes showcasing Madeline Follin’s 60’s girl-pop ready voice and music heavy on catchy guitar riffs and piano/organ combos.  I could go on about their influences, but I’d rather talk about a song nestled toward the end of the record that I keep coming back to, Bad Things.

I get immediately hooked with the two-note piano combo that repeats itself along with handclaps that makes it sound like it could be the start to a RJD2 or DJ Shadow number (I was convinced the beginning was identical to RJD2’s Final Frontier, but there’s only a passing resemblance).  I also like that the first thing that gets added to that piano and handclaps is Follin’s voice, which is both sweet and strong.  So you get sixteen seconds of pure pop bliss.  Not that what follows isn’t beautiful too as they layer on more organs, drums, guitars that fit perfectly with the melancholy lyrics about running away and never coming back as “those bad things always keep coming” for her.

Like in the album’s lead single, real cult leader Jim Jones’ sampled voice provides a mid-song break that continues the ethereal tone of the song, but also sets you up for the slam dunk of guitar, drums, piano and Follin coming back for one more go-around.  And then when it fades to the organ/keyboards, you want them to kick it back in again, but alas, the song must end.  And then I go back and play it again.

(Sounds a little muddier than the original)

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One Response to “A Cult(s) I Can Get Down With”

  1. Another Outlet « Nothing to Write Home About Says:

    […] songs, concert announcements, and other music news that interests me.  As I mentioned in my Cults review the other day, my blog posts cover a lot of older stuff, so the Pinterest page will […]

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