The Cast of Cheers broke out in dramatic fashion back in 2010 with their début, Chariot. Novel and brash, the band sounded extremely raw, awash with bare rhythms and a delectable pace. Despite the flaws, the talent was there to be seen. Moving on a couple of years, the four-piece from Dublin sees their progression result in Family.
First track ‘Family’ is more akin to being rudely awoken, rather than any formal introduction. An instant, brutal pace rears its head, driven by incessant percussion supporting repetitive guitar tones whilst lead singer Adams bawls out a hectic chorus. But there’s no time to contemplate being tired; Family swings immediately into ‘Posè Mit’, a more emotional offering, taking some cues from early era Bloc Party, with overlapping guitar strokes and deep vocals injected with added speed. Don’t worry, there’s no drug use here, but the album sure is mesmerising.
While the dynamism isn’t wholly original – similar math-rock bands Foals and Battles have used novel, plucked rhythms to provide a musical type of organised chorus – it doesn’t matter too much when it is executed and warped so brilliantly by the lads from Dublin. Additionally, The Cast of Cheers also posess a general sense of oddity that is seen in contemporaries Everything Everything, and the variety showcases a great deal of intelligence.
‘Goose’ is the only track from the original album but the quantity of change is probably proportional to the quantity of speed found in the band. More electronic, more production values – courtesy of Luke Smith who also produced Foals’ Total Life Forever – and a weird, slightly off-putting distant set of vocals give ‘Goose’ an odd aura. ‘Marso Sava’ sees a pace change, which could be dangerous, yet it proves that The Cast of Cheers are not a one trick pony. Featuring highly strung, rolling guitars, atmospheric sounds and echoes and a slightly more subtle mood led by Conor Adams’ vocals shifting down a gear, the track is a refreshing and compelling song which is one of the highlights of the album.
However, it is easy to see how all of this could be tiresome, and by the time you get to ‘They Call It a Race’, you may be looking to escape the rat race, and some of the repetition can be well, an irritation. Overall though, the hectic guitar strokes, blistering speed and Adams’ vocals have led to a excellent, more polished return.