by Chris Familton
Residents of Auckland New Zealand, Cool Cult are a post punk trio who released their six track self-titled EP a few months ago and though I was impressed on first listen it is only now, coming back to it again that I’m struck by how mature and sonically engaging the songs are. Comparisons with fellow NZ’ers Die Die! Die! are inevitable as they too balance dissonance and melody in a similar fashion. The difference is that Cool Cult have more rounded corners to their sound, the abrasive qualities are certainly there but they feel less confrontational than their peers.
From Kodiak is the perfect opener with its tumbling drums and twinkling and tripping guitar shapes. A line can be drawn back to other seminal kiwi acts like Bailter Space and Straitjacket Fits though Cool Cult sound much more nimble and excitable than either of those acts. From Kodiak drifts along with a self-propelled momentum before falling in on itself two thirds of the way through with the super-catchy guitar lines barely holding the song together before order is resumed. All Your Broken Bones is just as good, conjuring up a feeling of perpetual uplift. You can’t really hear what is being sung on many of the songs but it matters little, the appeal lies in the dynamics and constant compositional variation that comprises their songs.
The rest of EP expands on the style and sound established with the first two tracks with Ayurveda standing out as the best of the rest, taking a less hyperactive but still busy approach. There is plenty to like about Cool Cult, especially the maturity of their approach to their music. Their youthful indulgent tendencies are kept to a minimum and they clearly have a particular sonic aesthetic that they’re working to. Head over to their Bandcamp page to listen/buy the EP and discover why New Zealand is still throwing up distinctive and exciting guitar music from its shaky shores.