The Cast Of Cheers – Family (School Boy Error/Cooperative Music)

DIY Dubliners The Cast Of Cheers' first effort Chariot fast became a point of reference for upcoming bands- blanketed in critical acclaim and underground enigmatism, the Irish math-indie quartet built a solid reputation. Strange then, that their second effort Family is being billed as their first record. After signing to a label and following their dream to London, they've painstakingly pored over the new album, taking weeks rather than days and whittling their arsenal of tracks down to ten. Now they have a platform to scream from, The Cast Of Cheers are almost reinventing themselves - vocalist Conor Adams claims that “Family still feels like a debut,” and to many, it will be. For those who haven't experienced the explosive sound of the band, be prepared to get blown away.

Released Aug 8th, 2012 / By Larry Day
The Cast Of Cheers – Family (School Boy Error/Cooperative Music) Lead single and titular track 'Family' is a smorgasbord of barbed riffs and enough yelps to rival Yannis Philippakis. Its clear robotic rhythm and fast-paced drum patterns are bound for the dancefloor, while a whirlwind of muted guitars flicker in every direction. Second cut 'Posé Mit' has already drawn more than one comparison to Bloc Party - the melodic yet abrasive licks feel as if they've spawned from Russell Lissack's fingers, and the pained chorus seems ripped from the mind of Kele. Though 'Family' is fraught with familiar sounds, the pure severity and burning bite from The Cast Of Cheers welcome the record as a tour de force in its own right.

The four lads have grown, decisively. Adams' range has increased tenfold, which is flaunted throughout Family, and though the pinpoint precise math aspect of before is no longer the focus, it still lingers in the form of angular riffs. Many bands drown in the pressure of album number two, but The Cast Of Cheers have flourished, bringing the best parts of Chariot and dousing them with a good dose of Luke Smith (producer of Family and Foals' Total Life Forever) to introduce a pop sensibility.

The last remnant of Chariot is 'Goose', an immediately fierce number, bringing the raw edge of their former selves to the new regime. Though somewhat smoother than the original, it still retains a considerable snap which is very much appreciated. Towards the closing minutes of the album 'Marso Sava' whistled into existence with a quasi-whalesong created from feedback, as leaping drums infect the airwaves. A tropical lightness floats over the song, with a plethora of 'oohs' and a carefree Vampire Weekend tone.

There's no doubt in anyone's mind that Family will place highly in the musical round-up of 2012. It's a stellar semi-debut. Familiar enough that people will grasp it easily, but with enough fresh material that it's in no way stale. The Cast Of Cheers have ticked every box here, and it's a wonder they aren't rocking in the big leagues with Bombay Bicycle Club and The Maccabees - though with the arrival of this record, that may change.