Of course, it would be a bit of a misnomer to call this their debut album – that would be ‘Chariot’, the album the Irish quartet recorded themselves in 3 days, which they subsequently put up on BandCamp for free. It received over 150,000 downloads and netted them a nomination at the Choice Music Awards, sending their star into rapid ascendance – their next single, the blistering “Family” saw the band championed by the influential likes of Zane Lowe, Fearne Cotton, Huw Stephens as well as withguitars were all sensitive to the instant recognisable infectious tight, hook laden single. Then, still punch drunk they landed us with their follow-up single ‘Animals’ another solid outing, expectation naturally increased for an album as the focus came into being on the Irish band.
‘Family’ the title track and single is a powerful introduction to the world of The Cast of Cheers. Like ‘Animals’ they are your first two highlights, but on repeated listens there is lots more going on this first album proper . Like a band remind me of, at least in part of another 2012 more alternative band Savage Nomads. Like the ‘Nomads they are not one paced. As demonstrated on the mid-tempo ‘Go Getter’ is a lovely, warm-hearted mini-anthem in waiting, while ‘Marso Sava’ is a tender love song, as it does get the jittery XTC-ish narrative. ‘Palace And Run’ smacks of a strong live set winner; album closer ‘They Call It a Race’, meanwhile sees the band in more wistful mode, with lead singer Conor asking “is anybody else losing heart tonight?” over a “gorgeous, euphoric rush” of rattling guitars and sweetly cooed backing vocals. It is a fine, reflective end to proceedings. credit has to Luke Smith he once of of Clor, a fine production over the 10 tracks of this variable math-rock album.
Are loads of bands, engineers and producers these days all listening to various XTC albums or is it just me?
Pleased to say that while Cast of Cheers are not as much of an alternative band as some may hope for, they are no one-horse act, far from it, there is colour and depth to ‘Family’, although the band will always be sighted for the title track or Animals as the brighter sparks that ignite fans, they demonstrate a healthy bag of styles, temp and styles, not experimental, more of a traditional fare, in 2012 all brushed down, stronger than your average debut. ‘Family’ is clean, sharp and enjoyable. 8/10
‘Family’ official single video
European Tour Clips