The Caulfield Cult


Written by: PP on 24/01/2017 21:37:16

Singapore-based The Caulfield Cult have reached album number three with "Cult", featuring mostly cosmetic changes to their emotionally-wrought, desperation-driven form of punk/emo. Much like their previous records, the expression is heavily influenced by the depth-laden instrumentation of Hot Water Music and Small Brown Bike, but where roared vocals are exchanged with halfway screamed ones to underline the passion and emotion these songs are delivered with. It means we're dealing with a particularly raw, coarse vocal performance that complements the introspective atmosphere nicely. It also means "Cult" isn't going to be an easy album to get into as it gives no shortcuts to its listener.

The genre is punk/emo, with a heavy focus on the latter, where punk is often merely a nostalgic afterthought within the complex, slower instrumentals that the band toy around with. "Our Wounded Vessel", for instance, takes heavy use of the quiet/loud dynamic with soothing vocals exploding into a crescendo of melody and coarse screams, only to calm down again moments later. The emotional charge is intense as the band tear through intimate lyrical content and introspective themes, perhaps best exemplified on "Inadequate", an explosive song that has the vocalist screaming his lungs out lyrics like "I won't stop blaming myself / I wanna like my body / I don't wanna feel like I'm not enough". Should resonate with the slash wrists crowd quite well methinks? Other songs like "Two Weeks From Everywhere" have a more positive vibe to them at least in terms of melody, even if the lyrics are still a bummer. But hey, that's what emo is all about, right?

There's no denying the passion and honesty-driven approach to songwriting throughout "Cult". The strained vocals, the way the songs reach tipping point in milliseconds, and the misery-driven lyrical content all reveal as much. But what I'm missing on the record is, curiously enough, less passion and more focus on the songwriting. As it stands now, the band are happy to scream and shout their way through songs because they are wearing their hearts on their sleeves, but in the process, the songs become convoluted and too complex for their own good. The songwriting should concentrate on making them more memorable, even if that comes at the cost of some of the passion. That way, they would reach a larger audience than is the case right now.

Download: Deadpan, Marwood, Our Wounded Vessel, Inadequate
For the fans of: Small Brown Bike, Pentimento,
Listen: Facebook

Release date 31.03.2016
I.Corrupt.Records / Through Love Records / Dingleberry Records

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