Cults co-leader Brian Oblivion described his main aspiration of being in a rock 'n' roll band as having some form of impact on a cultural change. The group's self-titled debut certainly did so as its lo-fi-pop party tunes had a mentally cleansing effect on many of their fans. While many utilized the songs as 2011's summer themes, Oblivion described fans who took them far more personally and literally as one agoraphobic fan who used "Go Outside" as his inspiration for leaving his home for the first time in over 20 years.
As most sophomore records do, Cults' latest full-length, Static (released earlier this month), embodies a newly discovered spirit. Oblivion describes the transition as having an emphasis on distortion rather than reverb, but what we notice is a refined and far more concentrated attempt at defining their brand of noise. Oblivion's co-star Madeline Follin's vocals are taken from cutesy to confident, and the rock charm of the group is kicked up with Cheap Trick worthy riffs. Embedded throughout the album is also a transition into an ominous tone; one that's far from their original love-sick record, but this can certainly be attributed to the duo's romantic split in 2012. However, the relationship's tension, if it even exists, isn't palpable, but the love this time around is clouded with a sense of uncertainty. Something to which we can all connect.
Two weeks prior to the release of Static we took Cults across the East River to the outrageously eccentric dream world of Acme Studios prop house to get an early taste of the album. Surrounded by a wild collection of antique furniture and taxidermy, Brian, Madeline and crew performed "I Can Hardly Make You Mine", "High Road", "Always Forever", and gave us an extra special throwback burn through "Go Outside".