Occasionally the formulas captured and nailed by certain bands can become defunct if they are later over-imitated by new starters. On a first listen, you might mistake The Cast Of Cheers for being the impressionists with a lot of Family sounding like other tracks from their indie-pop contemporaries. From the opening clipping beat of the title track the noise sounds familiar. Similar to early efforts from Foals, with a hints of Biffy and even The Maccabees.
If they hadn’t handled their influences with such velocity and conquering enthusiasm, The Cast Of Cheers would be surely under fire from guitar-pop purists. Luckily for them, whilst they may be imitating sounds gone by, they are doing it with an energy we haven’t seen for a very long time.
“It’s all out war” splutters the Dublin vocalist on track 1. It’s a fair summary. This first track is as relentless and full throttle as is the whole LP. The songs have an almost refreshing pace to them.
‘Human Elevator’ doesn’t even make the three minute mark but manages to play host to a chorus so infectious that it makes up for lost time spinning round your head. The Cast Of Cheers’ remarkable talent for writing hooks is also shown on lead single ‘Animals’ where the similarities to Biffy Clyro become more apparent but the band certainly prove their worth as song writers. More so on the less racy ‘Palace And Run’ where a punchy backing vocal and deep synthesized bass line maintains the general momentum of Family. It is followed by the most frenetic offering of the LP, ‘Goose’, which sounds worryingly comparable to Hadouken! with an aggressive tone and the peak of The Cast Of Cheers’ endless bounds of energy.
Later in the record, ‘Marso Sava’ is a better demonstration of really what The Cast Of Cheers could do. Screechy echoed backing vocals and an airtight beat that bounces off of rolling guitar plucks. It would seem this track tailors The Cast Of Cheers’ experience in to one that is invigorating and enlivening. The melody is steady, tight and in this case the track sounds fairly original. All the elements of this song work together perfectly. The lyrics are playful but immaculately considered and the occasional spiraling guitar lick keeps the track lively and in sync with the rest of the album. This is certainly the highlight of Family. Especially when the beat of the final two tracks is almost identical and lyrics like “We look the same but in opposite ways” on ‘They Call It A Race’ run the risk of sounding a tad generic.
The over bearing reaction to this LP is positive. This Irish outfit aren’t the first to have captured this frenzied sound but the vigor and balls with which they attack it is surprisingly refreshing. It’s a genre that is often decidedly drab and proudly glum but The Cast Of Cheers seem to celebrate the trashy party that can come from an LP with guitars on it. Even if some of the tracks are little more than a hybrid of previous indie poster boys they still showcase an ability to write solid melodies and above that, they show an exhilarating to commitment to making themselves heard. 7/10