A few years ago, Cults broke out from nowhere with a self-titled debut (QRO review) that managed to bring popular girl-group sounds into the modern era, without being a retread. All eyes have been on the follow-up, and Static manages to continue that trend fairly well – if again not revelatory, an improvement in skill to go with the clear enjoyment.
There are still obvious girl-group moments to the new album, but they’re relegated to minute-plus pieces “I Know” and “TV Dream” – the real heart of Static is in the darker, more ambitious numbers in the middle. The best of these is probably “High Road”, which doesn’t feel like a throwback to anywhere or -when, but there’s also the darker disco to the following “Were Before” and “So Far”. Adding disco is old hat now (it was old hat even before Arcade Fire did it on Reflektor – QRO review), but Cults don’t let it overwhelm. However, pieces in between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Cults, like “Keep Your Head Up”, are less significant.
Cults are still a band that’s more on the enjoyment side than the impressive with Static, but they’ve managed to at least close the gap – and in a positive way.