If someone had predicted Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion of Cults were a one-hit-wonder, or perhaps a one-album-wonder, then the pair’s second album disproves this prediction. Cults is back, and I have to say they’re even better than before. The sophomore album, Static, released Oct. 15, continues the hard-rocking, synth-and-guitar-heavy ballads featured on the New York based band’s debut album, but kicked up a notch.
Following their album release earlier that day, the band took to Brooklyn Bowl for the Conflict of Interest showcase. There, they debuted many of their new songs for the first time live. Many times when a band first debuts new songs, the focus of the crowd is on only the old songs, to which they can sing along. Despite the newness of the album, however, the crowd was eager to hear new songs along with the old. And Follin and Oblivion delivered, giving attendees a high-power performance of a good chunk of their discography, complete with hits from their debut album such as “Go Outside,” “You Know What I Mean” and “Abducted,” mixed with new hits like “I Can Hardly Make You Mine,” “High Road,” “Always Forever” and “Were Before.”
Keeping with the theme of the new album’s title, Static, TV static was projected onto a huge, white ball floating behind the band, as well as the band itself. This image paired nicely with the feel of Static — not that the songs or performance were shaky in any way, but that there was an air of dreamy melancholy or the feeling of getting lost in the static of a TV.
The songs themselves do not require an extravagant performance, but are rather driven by the passion behind them — something that is evident in the band’s approach. They don’t need to run around the stage or do anything crazy, their music is enough to keep everyone happy.