Review Summary: A mature, laid back approach to high energy indie music.
Family is the second full-length album from Cast of Cheers, an indie rock band from Dublin, Ireland. They blend dueling guitar riffs with infectious bass lines and fast paced drumming to make a sound that balances emotion and melody in a way that few bands can. Vocalist Connor Adams has a very distinct croon, and unlike many singers of this genre, he does not use extra tracks to enhance his voice. This helps to give the entire band an atmosphere that is raw and entirely genuine.
Chariot, their first album, showed how well the band could make short, intricate songs that fed off grooves created by the bass and drums. The tempo was consistently high and the vocals conveyed a sense of urgency. The album was relentless, fitting 10 tracks into 30 minutes. However, this new album shows a more relaxed side of Cast of Cheers. Vocally, Adams exchanges the energetic chants of Chariot (tracks like Tip the Can and I Am Lion) for a much more focused and concise tone (tracks like Animals, Go Getter, Palace and Run). Musically, Cast of Cheers shows that they're not just interested in writing catchy riffs and baselines, but that they want to craft entire songs. The title track shows the band with some of their quickest moving parts to date, but organized in a way that builds a very nice song structure.
Lyrically, this band has progressed greatly. Go Getter is a song in which Adams writes to a young friend dealing with the consequences insecurity and love. Palace and Run is the gem of this album, with lines like "your elbows don't move/ your feet they don't talk/ we look so strange when we sit in the dark." This song deals with the pain that comes with intimacy, and the struggle to overcome remorse.
Cast of Cheers made leaps and bounds with this sophomore release, but they have not lost their fundamental identity. This is a very fun album, and anyone who enjoyed their previous record will like this as well. With this effort, they show that speed doesn't mean urgency, and slowness doesn't mean that you have to wait.