Saturday, 11 January 2014

#233: Forever Cult - Suntrap (single review)

Forever Cult


January 27, 2014 (Clue Records)


Seemingly able to bridge the gap between Seattle circa '92 and Camden circa 2012, Huddersfield-based 3-piece Forever Cult look well and truly set to make 2014 their year. Armed with a sound that's just as suited to red plaid as to trilbies and skinny jeans, their debut EP Fuxx was met with generally favourable response when they unveiled it's grungey cynicism last October. Now, a little of three months since it's release, Forever Cult are back with new single and free download, 'Suntrap', and, whilst the cynicism is still present, the music itself reveals a far more melodious, even tender side to the band's writing that comes across as the first step in a maturing process.

A hazy track that's far less frenetic than the heavier numbers on their EP, 'Suntrap' is not without it's own demons. Described as a “dark and brooding grunge confession” the track exhibits a discernible sense of introspection, with Kieran Clarke's transatlantic vocal serving to uphold a sense of universality that transcends the band's West Yorkshire roots, appealing to fans of alternative indie on both sides of the pond. Once more, not only are the band releasing 'Suntrap' as a free download, but it's release as part of this year's Independent Venue Week (an admirable venture, much like International Record Store Day on a smaller scale) means Forever Cult have been chosen as the headliners for the Leeds leg of the event, along with fellow up-and-comers allusondrugs.

Quite often, these days it seems many bands are brimming with interesting ideas, have thoughts on amalgamations of sounds or aesthetics which in turn, inevitably leads to the lines of genre becoming increasingly blurred. The problem with this experimentation, is that many of the bands are falling victim to over-ambition, running before they can walk. Thankfully, however, that isn't the case with Forever Cult, who have expertly walked a fine line on the border of indie and grunge, never once falling too heavy on either side, creating the perfect balance of the nostalgic and the contemporary and coming across all the better for it. And while the two genres have certainly met before (most recently with bands such as the ill-fated Tribes), rarely do they harbour the same cynical charm as Forever Cult. Like the twenty-somethings they probably are, poised between youthful innocence and cynical adulthood, Forever Cult, as a band, seem the embodiment of quarter-life crises, and my god, do they do it well.