Cult of Youth - Cult Of Youth (2011)

At a listen, Cult of Youth's self-titled album feels like it was born from a bout of late-night bar room academia; an album to answer a theoretical question, asked quizzically between drinks, "what would it sound like if Joy Division covered the Pogues?" While we can't be sure if anyone has ever actually asked that question, what we do know is that the answer exists. With a sound that is simultaneously murky and pastoral, Cult of Youth is neo-folk as seen through a post-punk lens, combining effervescent, acoustic arrangements with a dark and moody atmosphere to create a sound that's natural and ominous. Acoustic guitars play off of the twang of the electric bass, almost swapping roles with the bass cutting through the layers of guitar and violin to sometimes lead the rhythm rather than support it. The whole package is tied together neatly by singer/guitarist vocalist Sean Ragon, whose dramatic baritone splits the difference between Ian Curtis' somberness and Nick Cave's flair for the theatrical. This combination works wonderfully on songs like "The Dead Sea," adding a sense of foreboding to the maritime thump of the backing track. As the band's first album as a fully realized band rather than a bedroom recording project, Cult of Youth is a terrific entry into the neo-folk landscape, keeping many of the traditional elements of Irish and British folk while expanding the sound into deeper, darker waters.

Cult of Youth
Cult Of Youth
Album art: 
Release date: 

1. New West
2. The Dead Sea
3. Monsters
3. Casting Thorns
4. Through the Fear
5. Weary
6. The Pole-Star
7. Cold Black Earth
8. Lorelei
09. The Lamb
10. Lace Up Your Boots

Music label: 
Sacred Bones
United States
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