Wunderhorse
Cub


4.7
superb

Review

by Mathias STAFF
October 23rd, 2022 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is a very good rock music album and you should listen to it and maybe you won’t like it, but that’s ok I’m happy you tried.

For an album that I’ve had on repeat for weeks, I’ve found it very difficult to find any words to say about Cub and after sitting on it and sitting on my writer’s block, I finally realized that what made it so difficult to write about it was how simple it was. I don’t mean that in a songwriting sense at all, as Jacob Slater, the man behind Wunderhorse, has created some of the most well-crafted and interesting rock songs of this decade. What is simple about Cub is that it is a band with a singer, some guitars, a bassist, and a drummer making songs comprised of a singer, some guitars, a bassist, a drummer. There’s no gimmick going on here, no “This is going to change rock music forever” stylings that seem to need to happen for a modern rock band to break through the fray. What is special about Wunderhorse is that they seem to rely solely on their songwriting strength to make incredibly good and interesting music, which should not be a marvel concept, but has somehow, at least for this writer, become just that.

Now that’s not to say there is anything straightforward or even really traditional about Cub. There are certainly some of the tiniest post-punk leanings that peak through, as is seemingly to be expected out of every British rock export these days (“Teal” has all of the good of that style with none of the annoying). There is also a strong 90s alt rock influence, along with some early 2000s alt/indie rock stylings and grunge, all of which has been put through a sort of a Neil Young lens. Wunderhorse recently opened for Fontaines D.C. and Sam Fender and his music falls somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. Only two songs actually break the four minute mark and you’ve got your fair share of mid-tempo rockers mixed with a few slower, more atmospheric songs that make strong use of Slater’s voice, which seems to be able to mold like putty no matter what kind of style he’s singing. Wunderhorse have developed a sound that is certainly their own, creating a level of consistency that sounds like them without all blurring into one big blob of rock.

If this all sounds reductive and lacking in description, that’s because it is because I have somehow forgotten how to just appreciate music. The goal for me (and many others, it appears) seems to be wanting something that be described with hyperbole, to be searching for the big new sound, the thing that no one has ever done before. To be fair, I think that Wunderhorse is well on their way to all of that, but the reason why they are on their way isn’t because of fanfare or some crazy new technique or any idea the music world has never seen - It’s because they make music with the typical instruments that they are able to turn into very good songs. “Purple” is maybe the best song I’ve heard this year and if you ask me in real life what I would likely tell you is it’s because I like his voice and the guitars sound nice and it’s catchy and some of the layers that happen are really cool. Doesn’t that work? Do you need me to say something more than “This is a very good song and you should listen to it and maybe you won’t like it, but that’s ok I’m happy you tried.” So, I guess, read that sentence. That’s how I feel. “Cub” is good because it is enjoyable to listen to and I hope you also think that but no problem if you don’t.



s
Recent reviews by this author
Jude Brothers render tender / blunder sunderNoah Cyrus The Hardest Part
The Dangerous Summer Coming HomeThe Dear Hunter Antimai
Valleyheart Heal My HeadHarry Styles Harry's House
user ratings (31)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
dmathias52
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2022


1799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

I could not figure out the words to describe this album for some reason for two weeks now, so here's my review that just led to me going on a tangent. Basically, listen to this album, it's kind of a more straightforward Black Country, New Road (I think, I've heard one of their songs) and it is very good.



Feedback is welcome but also just go listen to "Purple" because this review is not good but I want you to listen to this

DoofDoof
October 23rd 2022


15478 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Has its moments



It sounds nothing like BCNR though



Mostly 90s alt worship with a bit of Sam Fender heartland’isms



If I return to it enough (there’s always competition…) then I could see it upping to a 3.5 maybe. It probably hurts my appreciation that I’ve listened to so much 90s stuff, it’s great in that this album instantly sounds familiar/comforting…but also it sounds nothing too new to me

dmathias52
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2022


1799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

Yeah I think I overstated thosepost-punk revival connections. I definitely think it’s there in certain places, but it is certainly far from being in that genre

Last part of your comment is what I love about this. It is nothing new but it is so incredibly well done and that, for whatever reason, makes it so enjoyable for me. It’s incredibly good music that I can just put on and enjoy and appreciate. It’s a grounding listen for me that is also very well put together. Almost a “found it at the right time” listen for me, but I do think it is incredibly strong outside of that as well

rufinthefury
October 23rd 2022


4010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm digging this a lot so far. I'm here for some Brit Rock.



Purple sounds like some old lively Coldplay and it's a good impression. The singer has some good pipes for their style

WatchItExplode
October 24th 2022


10480 Comments


'90s alt worship? I haven't listened yet but sign me up for a 4.5

dmathias52
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2022


1799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.7

@rufinthefury Very happy to hear it. Definitely hear the Coldplay comparison now that you say it, although a little “rockier”. Vocals are a highlight for me, love that something like Teal and Morphine can exist on the same album so cohesively



@Explode This is right up your alley!

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2022


6040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Real nice find, Mathias!



As Doof said, nothing particularly original but it's very well-executed (almost through my first listen). Quite enjoying this one.

rufinthefury
October 24th 2022


4010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this is refreshingly straightforward. Really liking this, I can see these dudes getting a lot of steam in the next few years if they keep up this quality.



"Teal" is the best one on here imo after a few listens

Kompys2000
Emeritus
October 24th 2022


9489 Comments


been really enjoying some of the great meat-n-potatoes rock bands lately (heartbreakers, REM, early foo fighters etc) so maybe I'll sample teal/purple and see what's up!

Also I think you got an extra "because" at the beginning of the last para (great rev otherwise UwU)

gschwen
October 24th 2022


989 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

For the first track, the band that comes to mind is Cloakroom because of the vocals. Cloakroom oozes a bit more like molasses though.



The second track kicks off like Sweet Home Alabama.

rufinthefury
October 24th 2022


4010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah that opening riff for Leader of the Pack is 100% a Sweet Home Alabama homage. And they reworked it wonderfully for their style

WatchItExplode
October 25th 2022


10480 Comments


Took two plays before this started to click. There is definitely something here beneath the surface

Mellowdeath
October 25th 2022


14 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Really enjoying this album so far!

JS19
October 26th 2022


7777 Comments


Someone I went to school with is in this band. Local area blowing up

WalrusTusk
October 26th 2022


1824 Comments


I think recently I've been craving music that is good just because it's good. It's not the next big thing, but it's just rock songs that are good rock songs. Maybe I'm feeling the classic burnout after a year of album exploration, who knows.

Also, imho get rid of one of your becauses in this line.
"If this all sounds reductive and lacking in description, that’s because it is because I have somehow forgotten how to just appreciate music."

And just have it read "that's because I have somehow forgotten how to just appreciate music."

Cosmiche
October 28th 2022


362 Comments


Just starting this. first tune has me excited

Rawmeeth38
October 29th 2022


2737 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Poppy is fantastic

rufinthefury
December 1st 2022


4010 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been jamming this a lot. Love Atlantis the most rn

Sibiler
August 1st 2023


1 Comments


@splatoon 3 I must say I love this album so much!

Phlin1956
August 1st 2023


1 Comments


@Donkey Kong Every time I listen to this song, I feel comfortable and at ease.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2023 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy