The Cast Of Cheers

School Boy Error/Cooperative Music, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


There was a time when a decent band name seemed to play just as much of a role in the success of a band as the music itself. If we were still living in those days, Ireland's The Cast Of Cheers would be, in my opinion at least (sure, I'm a little biased; Cheers will always be my favorite show), the best band in the world. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Turns out they're making a pretty good run for that title anyway, amazingly recording a debut LP in 2009 in three days and putting it on Bandcamp for free and seeing 150,000 downloads. The young band quickly became all the rage in the UK, and this follow up disc comes with widespread anticipation from both sides of the Atlantic.

The quartet refine their mathy, indie rock sensibilities here with great results, packing a lot of hooks, driving energy, and impressively complex musicianship that is as likely to draw parallels to Gang Of Four and Q And Not U as they are XTC. The disc opens with “Family” and “Pose Mit,” tracks with plenty of charged indie rock sounds and angular guitar work. These songs exemplify their math-rock ideas well, the intricate guitars complementing the crashing drums. The band manipulate time signatures constantly on Family, tracks like “Animals” illustrating this with its meticulous detail, though they often keeps things straightforward as well; “Palace And Run” relies on gentle synth and quaint guitars. Toward the end of the disc, they inject a heartfelt song, “Marso Sava,” showing the Paul Simon influence during the recording process.

There isn’t a dull moment here, musically or lyrically. This is somewhat of a grab bag of different textures from the indie rock spectrum, but there are also minor stabs at Afrobeat, dance rock, and post-punk backdrops. Family often sounds like a disc designed for Carla Tortelli – jagged, frantic, pulsating yet also carefully calculated chaos. It even has some quieter, calmer moments for those romantic nights that Sam Malone would appreciate, and a level of sophistication even The Cranes would appreciate.

Rating: A

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© 2012 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of School Boy Error/Cooperative Music, and is used for informational purposes only.