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October 10, 2011 | by  | in Arts Music | [ssba]


A cursory glance at the annals of popular music illustrates what has seemingly been a perpetual fixation with musical duos.

The dynamic fostered between a couple harmonizing, playing and subsequently bickering, can be seen from the days of The Carpenters and, Sonny and Cher, while more recently The White Stripes and The Kills have tantalized audiences with innuendo that does nothing to solve the mystery of their union.

In every case there is one half of the duo that surpasses the other, enveloping their companion in a blanket of self-doubt and resentment. While Jack White’s charm and Jamie Hince’s high profile relationship see Meg White and Alison Mossheart shunted into the shadows, in the case of the Cults, it would appear that Madeline Follin commands the most attention with her doe-eyes and dulcet delivery.

Sonically, these latest purported purveyors of so-hip-it-hurts rock music don’t appear to be remarkably different from any of their alternative rock contemporaries. Nevertheless, Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion have produced a tight debut filled with equal parts melancholy tunes and cheery guitar riffs. With comparisons easily drawn to both The Raveonettes and Elliot Smith, it becomes clear after an initial run through of their album that their strength lies not in the lyrical depth of their songs (“tell me what’s wrong with my brain cause I seem to have lost it”), but rather their rugged instrumentalism and innocent enthusiasm. While the more upbeat ‘Go Outside’ and ‘Oh My God’ are bound to be on high rotate at soirees the world over, the universally relatable Abducted, sonically dripping with despondency, is sure to become the musical backdrop for many a bitter separation.

Perhaps the best track, ‘You Know What I Mean’ has Madeline and her Mary Weiss-esque vocals reach dizzying heights, though whether or not this is reflective of their future remains to be seen. Only time will tell whether the Cults are just another brick in the wall.


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  1. Lacey says:

    Mighty useful. Make no mistake, I appercitae it.

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