Thursday, July 28, 2011

LIVE REVIEW - CULTS Back in LA @ the Echo - American Pancake

An ebullient CULTS hit the Echo stage last night to a crowd that eagerly wanted to drink in all the noise pop that Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion had to offer. I have had a crush on CULTS from afar but never seen them live and the difference between their recorded works and in person is pretty stunning mainly due to Follins vocal performance that, live, feels like it is seared with emotion. In songs like "Abducted" or "Never Heal Myself" (free from the pearly washed reverb on the album) Follin's voice is stripped down more bare and at times she seemed as love lorn and vulnerable as Winnie Cooper pushing away (and pining) for Kevin Arnold.

CULTS music is not only emotionally drawn but it is drawn with skewed lines. It is American bred adapting styles from 40's torch songs to 60's inspired be bop all fused up into this original dreamy concoction. It also has a dark side and CULTS smartly pushed the weird envelope by rear projecting some old movie (that I cannot put my finger on) behind them. The sepia toned imagery cast a cool eerie element to their performance especially in songs like "Go Outside" and "The Curse."

At one point Oblivion drew out slowly, "I've burned alot of bridges here" and spoke of LA as a place where people are always trying to sell you something. Follin quickly reminded him that there are a lot of beautiful people here as well. New York versus LA put aside, there was mad crazy mad love for CULTS and they deserved the adulation.
Adler Bloom-

NOTE: I shot most of the set and to my dismay had some incorrect levels on my cam. Even though the footage looks like a 16 millimeter film that was pulled out of the garbage and the sound is not the best, I wanted to post it up anyway (if just for me to enjoy).


  1. Watching Cults was such a treat for me. I saw them at a bar here in San Diego and it was such an intimate experience. As a huge fan, it was amazing to be so close... I felt like I was in their living room (not that I think their living room would look like a bar...haha) but just because it was such a small venue and they performed so emotionally! Can't wait to see them on their fall tour with Foster the People.. so stoked!

  2. Thanks for the comment. Whenever AP gets any comments on Blogger I am surprised as we are not well known so please spread the word. We are going to make a big push in a few months to get more reviewers involved as well as shoot some music videos and projects for bands and venues. NOW enough about us-- CULTS rocked my socks off seriously. AS you say, seeing them is a treat. On one hand they produce this dreamy brand of pop which on the surface is just all fun and dancy etc but it is all tied up with such feeling that these pop songs really carry some emotional weight as well. I thought that Follin is amazing at feeling the songs and making the audience feel them as well. Also, their rapport with the crowd is smart and easy. It is actually amazing to see these seemingly seasoned performers who basically got signed to a record deal within several months of releasing a small EP. It goes to show you that if you have "it" the world will run to your door. Keep in touch and check out our facebook page as well.