Although you may be inspired to wave your arms in the air or hug random passersby, there's more to the band than Motown hooks set to archival footage of cult leaders. Madeline Follin belts out worldly-wise lyrics in an earnest alto that hasn't lost its teenage edge -- a perfect girl-group sound, set to darker subject matter, á la Dum Dum Girls or early Vaselines. "Go Outside," the YouTube sensation that started it all (on both their three-song EP and full-length, major label debut) sadly resigns oneself to forging a solitary path from a partner who just wants to "hole up" and "sleep the light away."
Brian Oblivion, who provides the duo's guitar/aux/percussion, says that the name Cults was inspired by difficult times in his life, and the realization that thinking for yourself is the only way forward. This theme of shrugging off groupthink recurs throughout the band's full-length, self-titled debut. Yet the music is just full of -- dare we say it? -- good, good vibrations. It's songs like "Abducted" that will have the boys with moustaches and bikes bobbing their heads; the Supremes-esque "You Know What I Mean," in contrast, will have 'em staring down into their PBRs, wishing they knew how to slow dance.
Gallery photos by Kelsey McClure. See more at her Flickr stream.