Lengthy albums can be a drag to listen to and review sometimes, but Cult Choir made it an enjoyable experience with their dreamy 16 song line up that just seems to drift from start to finish. High Spirits kicks off with ‘Perfect’, which is decorated with melting vocals and a dreamy riff, that seemed to be made for the lyrics ‘Ohhhh you know that/You’re perfect’, with it floating along, there’s a part of you that just wants it to carry on.
The song offers songs like this all the way through without really letting you down, if you’re in the mood for that music that wants you to float in the sea without fear, Cult Choir has all bases covered. ‘Wicked Eyes’ and ‘High Spirits’ offers the best of this, with more of that golden coated lyrics and sounds surrounding your ears.
The album is not scared of putting you in a nervous position, with eerie sounds and sort of unknown feeling surrounding you. This is achieved by disturbing riffs and little howling vocals which can’t quite make out. ‘Something’s there’ and ‘Cold October’ do this to perfection, presenting you with sounds that shouldn’t really placed into someone’s brain, but once you get past that initial disturbing feeling, you can begin to appreciate the music that’s on display, much like Sonic Youth in that sense. They present you with something that is hard to get around and enjoy, but once you’ve done that, its bliss.
In some places the vocals aren’t the most polished and clean, but this all adds to the effect of the song, making it unfair to criticise them as it gives the songs a human edge, which most songs now lose as they’re far too polished.
The second half of the album pretty much follows suit, as it showcases all the elements that were shown in the first half, making the album somewhat repetitive in places, but not so much that it makes you want to turn off. An important component of the album is that no songs, except for ‘New Life’, runs over three minutes, so as soon as you feel that the song is becoming slightly dragged out, the band move you on to next one.
The highlights of the second half are ‘I Want to know’, which sound like a Beatles love song mixed with a very dark tone and environment, proving to be one of the gleaming songs on the album. ‘Forget it’ I is slightly more fast paced number that offers rather a catchy melody, this song shows the diversity of the band as it shows that they’re capable of speeding up the pace, but still keeping that important sound that they’ve developed. ‘New Life’ ends the album, where the lyrics are king as he sings “we’ve got to find a new way/We’ve got to start a new life”, which puts a cap on the album perfectly, leaving the listener with good thoughts of the album.
The album is best described as a dreamy fuelled piece of work, with human touches and rough edges. The production of the album has played a large part in the album, as it’s kept that lofi feel, but managed to achieve this larger sound, making It something that has a Cult Choir stamp on it.
Words by Alex Wise @al4563