Review of Family Album by The Cast Of Cheers

Family is awfully-named Irish quartet The Cast Of Cheers' first proper album. See past the name, though, and fine purveyors of catchy, well-produced, semi-math rock they are; a little tendency towards being a Foals clone, but that needn't be a criticism.

The scalic guitar entrance to 'Family' brings to mind Rodrigo y Gabriela, though this is proven a clear false whiff of comparison once vocals, pounding bass and drums enter, except perhaps in technicality. The opening track to this album continues to hammer forward with a Foals-esque pounding indie vibe underpinned by angular yet intricate interlocking guitar riffery. In this track, as in following track 'Poc' Mit' and the remains of Family, the overlapping, interweaving guitar lines, thudding bass line and pushing drum beat sound a sharp math-rock construction. It's a confident and infectious dance floor worthy blend that gradually gathers pace and increases in intricacy with its multiple guitar lines.

'Human Elevator' opens with a swaggering shuffle rhythm and kicks into a catchy synth-backed pop chorus blending shuffle blues with electro pop, meanwhile 'Animals' sounds a chugging 6/8 rhythm intercepted by an angular, choppy rhythmic interruption in 4/4. The Cast Of Cheers play with time signatures/feels but not over complicatedly so; the changes seem to have a place in the song rather than being obscurely technical for mere self indulgent geekery. With high-pitched synth and backing vocals doubling the vocal melody, 'Palace & Run' sounds a blend akin to Flaming Lips. A more spacious song, the track opens with echoing synths and strummed guitar before similarly calmer bass and drums enter. There are some rhythmic guitar suggestions in the background but nothing too intrusive and not as dominantly as in previous tracks, even as 'Palace & Run' builds to its echoing chorus.

The Cast Of Cheers Family Album

The opening four beats of atmospheric strummed guitar offer a brief false sense of security before the energetic pound of bass, drums and guitar crashes into 'Goose'; the Cast Of Cheers strut with the groove and confidence of the likes of Bloc Party. 'Goose' then gathers pace and drives into something that verges on the power of metal, just without the distortion. Waltz 'Go Getter' perfectly exemplifies The Cast Of Cheers' blend of riffery whilst, underpinned by throbbing toms 'Marso Sava' is another equipped with an undeniably catchy beat.

'Trucks At Night' is underpinned by a rhythmic bass riff (think Papa Roach - Last Resort) which flanks the opening verse in combination with solid drums before the guitars join in. Its chorus has a driving pace and energy; a real forceful interjection. The album's concluding track, 'They Call It A Race' then pounds with the same energy and determination flanked by playful cowbells. The Cast Of Cheers also bite at a pop punk type chorus; 'They Call It A Race' is a bit more of an accessible, simple, swaggering conclusion to this solid effort of an album.

Hannah Spencer

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