Cult Called Man is a Ratoath, Co. Meath based sextet that broke onto the Irish music scene in 2013, steadily gaining momentum through the release of the release of their 2014 EP ‘Shoot Me (It’s Just TV)’. Their aesthetically pleasing live performances – including turns at Electric Picnic, Knockanstockan, Vantastival among others – and their online presence which ranges from their heavily retweeted open letter to Modest Mouse in a bid to land a support slot with them to the release of quirky music videos like The Walkyr and Wickyr Mice, the latter of which kicks off the ‘Mr. Wednesdae’ EP.
What is clear from the outset is that the group have a keen ear for pleasant melodies. Wickyr Mice opens with some bright keys and dampened major key reggae upstrokes leading to a more dramatically tinged chorus, coloured with flourishes of additional percussion and tasteful guitar leads and vocal harmonies. The title track opens more urgently, with syncopated guitar riffs and crow-caw vocalising, eventually giving way to a singalong chorus about how blue the titular character is. Jar sees the group foray into more downbeat territory, with its topsy-turvy driving guitar riff and refrain of ‘there’s a body in the lake’. Coffee Song plays almost like a Jonny Greenwood inspired cowboy song, with it’s clip-clop woodblock rhythm section and pitch-shifted guitar chords punctuating each line in the chorus and its reverberated tremolo picking towards it’s finish.
The EP is let down at times by being at times a little too twee, a bit overly quaint. Though the use of different vocal timbres at one time is clever, at times it gets a little grating like on the title track’s chorus. And while the songs are catchy, they aren’t exactly memorable. Frontman Kazmo should be commended for his efforts to stand out as a lead vocalist but his technique at times renders the lyrics indecipherable, the songs’ messages (if any) are difficult to discern and lines are memorable mostly through repetition, not clarity or profundity. The titular character is referenced on more than one track on the EP but there is little explanation behind the concept, nor incentive to dig for clue.
Despite these shortfalls, Cult Called Man is a band with potential and the ‘Mr. Wednesdae’ EP is a worthwhile listen, full of dainty tunes, studied arrangement and offbeat instrumentation.