The Cast of Cheers, eh? It's a hell of a band name. I can just see myself now trying to convince my Dad that their album isn't Ted Danson, Kirstie Alley and Woody Harrelson singing along to a selection of jukebox songs and getting nowhere. Anyway, the Dublin quartet made a name for themselves in 2010 on their debut Chariot, an effort that defied the still-fairly common perception that mixing indie rock with synthesizer backdrops and an overriding sense of weirdness didn't necessarily mean that your music had to dwindle along at a rate and feature an over-usage of electronics that made trying to listen to it painful. Friendly Fires are a terrible band. No, TCOC hit the nail right on the head, with the perfect mixture of riffs and synth usage that was delivered with a punk tinged urgency. It was definitely a sign of a promising start.
Now that the band have followed up on Chariot with their sophomore effort Family, on their first label, their is in honesty not much in the way of major development upon their minimalist indie rock but it is a style that allows for a lot of differing songwriting and arrangement to be executed, proving that they still manage to create a breath of fresh air throughout their course.
The other notion that the band manage to prove throughout the album is that less does manage to be more. We've all become used to hearing bands whose only method of introducing hooks into their songs is by making the riffs louder, but with TCOC, creating hooks is all down to the steel-plated songwriting of frontman Conor Adams who brings the album straight to life from the opening of the title track, an array of dreamily arranged guitar and drum tapping brought to life by Adams' punk-induced urgency in his vocal performance.
However on tracks like this, Animals and Trucks at Night, the melodic songwriting is truly key in bringing the most life into the compositions. With these subtly massive hooks, they manage to pack a punch to listeners to the extent that an impact is made without such notion even being noticed upon the first time. Even with just the introduction of a simple riff or synthesizer backdrop, during the chorus, the songs become absolutely thrilling. This notion is seen effortlessly on Human Elevator and Goose with it's frizzy riffing, which only up the frantic punk energy conveyed in Adams' performance.
Because an overriding amount of delicacy remains within the songs, intricate details can be pointed out amongst the hook laden madness that makes it more enjoyable. I've never been able to comment on the awesomeness of backing vocals before but the chants of the tracks title that surround the melodies of Marso Sava have an impenetrable coolness that would have to be clearly put on display, otherwise it would be a massive waste.
With all areas of writing a song fully focused on in order to create a performance as passionate, immersive and bright shining as possible, Family reveals itself as a triumph of alternative rock songwriting. With equal amounts of emphasis put on guitar hooks, danceable basslines and drum patterns and a vocal performance that grabs listeners by the throat, The Cast of Cheers have made their mark on the alt rock scene at an early stage. If they go on with this standard, who knows, maybe they'll become big enough that all first page Google results will be all about them and their music with no sign of IMDb or tribute sites to 80's sitcoms anywhere.
The Cast of Cheers' Family is out now via School Boy Error. The band will perform at Y Not Festival in Matlock on 4th August and will perform at Reading & Leeds festival on 24th and 26th August.