CULT OF YOUTH hail from Brooklyn. Their brand new LP just dropped from Sacred Bones on Feb. 22nd, jam-packed with triumphant and anthemic country neo-folk with a driving punk attitude that doesn’t really sound like anything else that’s been in our ears lately.
Cult of Youth is fronted by main man Sean Ragon, who started the project as a series of home recordings. This album marks the first official Cult of Youth release that features a full band, and after listening, they probably shouldn’t do it any other way from now on. Eleven new songs fill out this LP, which features their jagged pirate-rock sound that sounds both nautical and grand at the same time, mainly combining elements of folk, punk and country. Songs feature lush orchestral qualities (“Casting Thorns”, “Through the Fear”) which broadens the sound of their rambunctious, swashbuckling take on folky-Americana pirate-punk, making these songs sound greatly in-depth.
Frantic guitar playing is paired up with bold and brooding vocals, which follows along with the nontraditional primal drumming and elastic bass lines. Ragons voice sounds like that of a pirate, which at times can sound completely discontented and fierce. There may even be a time when the music sounds like it could have come straight out of a medieval time period (“The Pole-Star”). With all of these pirate references, I thought it was highly appropriate to use Philadelphia’s own Mischief Brew as an appropriate place for comparison. Those of you familiar with Mischief Brew should have no trouble agreeing. A song like “Monsters” illustrates this comparison quite well, which is outlawed bandit rock at it’s finest. But just because we’re comparing here doesn’t mean they sound exactly the same – it’s just that they both simply share some similarities.
As you advance through the album, you should begin to recognize the crushing and cinematic sound that is Cult of Youth. “Weary” is a good example of this, which definitely progresses as the song plays out, sounding heroic yet drastic at the same time. The seven minute monster “The Lamb” is on the same salty boat as well, which evens takes a stab at more gazey qualities than anywhere else on the record in the middle of the track. It all ends with much intensity on the final track “Lace Up Your Boots”, where you can definitely feel the raw energy coursing through your veins as they give us one last violent statement before it’s all done.
In the end, Cult of Youth have definitely found their own sound in this swaggery pirate punk. Tight acoustic guitars, pounding tribal rhythms, and vast orchestral qualities are all out on a nautical life at sea, creating much depth on this record. That being said, we’re pretty sure all you swashbucklers are going to dig. See for yourself with the songs below!
PS – Stay tuned later this week, because Cult of Youth make a stop in Philadelphia @ Kung Fu Necktie…
New West –
The Pole-Star –
The Lamb –
My Rating: 8.5/10
Genre/ Tags: Folk Rock, Country, Punk, Acoustic
Cult of Youth: Tracklist:
1.) New West
2.) The Dead Sea
4.) Casting Thorns
5.) Through the Fear
7.) The Pole-Star
8.) Cold Black Earth
10.) The Lamb
11.) Lace Up Your Boots