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Archive Album Review: Family by Cast Of Cheers

Irish Indie/dance/rockers The Cast of Cheers release dtheir sophomore album “Family” on the 27th July in the UK. A follow up to 2010’s Chariot it is instantly satisfying. Catchy choruses coupled with detailed and angular dance rock are here in abundance.

One full listen to “Family” gives you a feeling of a band that recorded with the freedom to do what they wanted. The enjoyment of their music reflects in every track. The Cast of Cheers have easily avoided the “difficult second album syndrome”, you have the sense this is a band without constraints, armed with a blank piece of paper.  “Family” picks up where Chariot ended – big choruses, lively and angular guitars and looping and pounding drums. With that there is a marked step up; it is more polished and more instant.

It’s inevitable that The Cast Of Cheers are going to draw comparisons to early work by The Foals and Bloc Party – at times the similarities are striking – if you imagine the best parts of both mixed together with more danceablity you have an accurate picture.

First track and title track Family is a perfect album opener. Pounding drums and some excellent guitar riffs give an instant radio friendly gem. It is constantly moving with detailed guitars – you can’t keep still, whether it is nodding your head or full dancing – you will be moving. Second track Pose Mit carries on this trend and is probably the most Bloc Party-esque track on the album, starting out with a poppy electro intro and a delicious guitar riff signals the end of the track.

Human Elevator is the lead single from Family and the most instantaneously catchy track. Big distorted pop guitar hooks and simple sing-a-long vocals make this the song most likely to give Cast of Cheers serious airplay. By fourth track Animals it is quite clear that this is a contender for album of the year. It is insanely infectious; it will sucker you in and leave you singing and tapping your feet for the remainder of the day. Animals is the ideal representation of this.

Palace and Run signals the mid point of the album and temporary change in pace. It is more laid back lament to a lover. Although a change in tact it doesn’t lose any of the preceding tracks danceabilty. Strings screech in briefly towards the end. The rest bite is short lived with Goose up next. The stereo guitars are a joy to hear on headphones before the song explodes into a chugging and shouty number. Again there’s a similarity to Bloc Party, especially in the vocals – don’t let that detract from a glorious track though.

Go Getter is a perfect dance rock song. Gentle and subtle, stop/start drumming, angular guitars and commanding vocals it is contagious. Marso Sava comes next with repeating drums and ominous sounding bass. There’s a quieter feel with the half way point marked by a beautifully delicate and textured guitar riff. Penultimate track Trucks at Night again delivers a superb slab of dance rock. Fantastic guitar and bass riffs stand out before we get to album closer They Call It A Race. There’s a Biffy Clyro feel to the guitar work, present here is the album’s best guitar work. As the chorus asks “Is anybody else losing heart tonight?” you feel that would be impossible while listening to an album of such high calibre.

Family is a superb album, a must buy for any music fan. It will have wide appeal from fans of lots of genres. As The Cast of Cheers spend the summer playing various festivals this might just be the album that explodes them upon the mainstream. Every track is  top notch, with no filler it is gloriously and immediately catchy. Buy this now; this will be the soundtrack to your summer.

 

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