The Caulfield Cult

Things Can Only Get Worse From Here

Written by: PP on 27/07/2013 16:26:47

About two years ago The Caulfield Cult emerged from Singapore with a bombshell of a debut album in the form "Leaving Cemetery Junction", a passionate piece of emotional hardcore-fueled punk rock that was drenched in raw honesty and explosive screams to the brink of bursting. It was a brilliant debut, leaving sky-high expectations for their sophomore album "Things Can Get Only Worse From Here". Now, I don't know exactly why, but the band opt for an entirely different approach for their sophomore effort, leaving the Samiam style dreamy punk rock melodies behind alongside the rest of the No Idea gang (Hot Water Music, North Lincoln etc), instead concentrating on a more introspective and contemplative style.

Basically, the album as a whole is far less polished with the production left wide open compared to the tight explosions of carefully constructed emotional rage on "Leaving Cemetery Junction". There's a rawer feel to this album, leaving the screams less thick and more fragile than before, where they drew parallels to Title Fight's prolonged roars. Don't get me wrong, the screams are still emotionally charged, but there's a lot more clean vocals, and the passages in general are delivered at a slower pace. The idea has clearly been to write more expansive melodies that would echo across the soundscape, and while that works to a certain extent on for example "Great Scott" and "Drought", it's missing the same undeniable energy and unadulterated passion that came across so directly on the debut album.

Basically, as The Caulfield Cult have opted to evolve their sound into something bigger, they've made the classic mistake of ignoring the key ingredients that made their previous work so fantastic. The 'wave' style melodies of the past, the Pianos Become The Teeth-esque hair-raising howls, the emotional intensity... those are all things that don't exist on "Things Can Only Get Worse From Here" to the same extent as before. The tempo no longer has sudden shifts from slow to fast, and the generally slower pace of the album does it no favors, even if on paper it should result into even more meaningful soundscapes of emotional tear. It's still a decent album, but I'm missing the catchy screams, and especially the urgency and immediacy that the debut album featured in excessive amounts.


Download: Great Scott, Drought
For the fans of: Title Fight, Pentimento
Listen: Facebook

Release date 04.06.2013
Rooftop Records

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