The Cast of Cheers
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The Cast of Cheers

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
Band Rock Alternative

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"state.ie Live Review"

Black cats and rabbits’ feet may be de rigueur elsewhere on this Friday the 13th, but everyone in Whelan’s on Wexford Street is feeling particularly lucky tonight. Arriving a tad late, State has just watched the last few numbers by Enemies, darlings of the Richter Collective cult, who intersperse their careful thrashing and bashing with those customary noodly bits everyone likes at the moment. We didn’t see the whole set, so we’re just going to say that it was up-beat, loud and all very ‘post-rock’.

Enemies had a fair old crowd before them (State even got dirty looks while squeezing in to join a friend up front) but by the time our headliners have stalked forward on to the stage, it’s more or less full.

The band they’re here to see, The Cast of Cheers, arrived fully formed at the start of the year, with free-to-download debut Chariots making them tonnes of friends. They also performed live like they had a few hundred gigs out of the way already and had the gumption to boycott the IMRO Showcase over their stance on Limited Online Exploitation Licences.

If it all sounds very precocious then that’s because it is. You can see it in them throughout this tight-as-a-duck’s-arse set. Conor Adams’s edgy vocal is a cultivated weapon, full of phlegm and finished with a Reznor-like snarl. Brother Neil does a decent Omar Rodriguez-Lopez impression, flailing guitar manically and writhing about in between lead duties. It is noticed that the two guitarists occasionally dance about like this while a mysterious guitar track is playing somewhere. This is down to some form of sampler loop pedal. It’s a nifty idea, and part of Cast of Cheers’s sound, but live it looks vainglorious – why don’t they stop throwing shapes and play the thing instead, you wonder.

Or not. You may be marvelling too much at the moments when everything comes together. ‘Derp’s’ high-wattage math-rock pulse is a full-on floor-filler. During ‘Tigerfox’, Adams drops his plec amid the ranting chorus “Is there any fucking love in here?” The line is quickly improvised by the dancing mob as he stoops to pick it up. That rhythm section is something to behold too. It would all be impossible without Kevin Curran on drums, you feel. Like bassist John Higgins, he doesn’t fill spaces with ego, and instead just builds structure and playful stability for these restless songs.

We near the end of the show and Whelan’s is seeing a full-blown crowd-surfing and slam-dancing demonstration. It slightly demeans the intellect of this music, but State isn’t worrying. By all signs, Cast of Cheers are the cream in the process of rising to the top. Tonight, after all, there was no shortage of fucking love in here. - state.ie


"The Cast of Cheers - Chariot [Review]"

After releasing their debut album 'Chariot' completely for free online via bandcamp.com last year, word rapidly spread that The Cast of Cheers were one of Ireland's finest up and coming talents. With the album now nominated for the Choice Music Prize the buzz surrounding this band is only going to get bigger.

For a country that's produced plenty in the way of instrumental math rock (Redneck Manifesto, Enemies) and top class indie-pop (Two Door Cinema Club), it almost seems strange that no-one put the two together before. It works flawlessly for The Cast of Cheers, perhaps because they offer up catchy sing-along choruses and irresistible, vibrant guitar hooks while still retaining that punkish attitude and hints of experimentalism. The guitar work here is key, sharply and speedily jerking back and forth with the help of pedal loops, all the while solidified with stomping bass lines and thumping drums.

An exuberant and dynamic live act, The Cast of Cheers have a certain youthful vigour that comes through clearly on record, too. The swift pace, rhythmic backing vocals and circling verse of 'Tip The Can' make it one of Chariot's most infectious offerings, while it's next to impossible to resist tapping your foot to the rigid beat of 'Derp'. That Conor Adams' lead vocals are often laced in crunchy distortion adds an extra rough edge to his violent bark, much more dominant than the hazy reverb that softens him on the punchy 'Deceptapunk'.

One could easily continue to wax lyrical about the invigorating and infectious nature of the quirky pop-punk found throughout the duration of Chariot, but the fact that The Cast of Cheers have come so far with little or no official promotion speaks for itself. - entertainment.ie


"Lost 10 of 2010 - #9: The Cast Of Cheers Chariot"

Another record that somehow didn't get the recognition our writers felt it deserved, lofted to the top of the year-end 'glance this way please' pile for your investigation...

This album didn't get a listen following a rabidly written press release that dropped into my inbox on an ordinary weekday and neither did it spring from my postbox in an otherwise dull brown jiffy bag. In fact, it leapt from the countless recommendations to be found within the thousands of threads upon the music boards of DiS.

Downloadable – and completely free - from bandcamp, the debut album from The Cast of Cheers, entitled Chariot, is a flurry of slippery guitar lines and lithe sounds swarming across their frenetic vista.

It almost feels like Chariot is too fun to exist in 2010. On the backdrop of all the sodastream foam from chillwaves and various -gazes, Chariot was striking, punchy and snapped along at a thrilling pace. Vocal chants seem planted and fertilised back when Foals were exhilarating, the syncopated morse-code guitars recall the long-missed Meet Me In St Louis while the rhythmic twists are pure Q and Not U. But more than the sum of its parts, it has an urgency and an irresistible stickle brick simplicity; cleverly put together but bold, colourful and reliably satisfying.

The repeated, looped and chopped guitar notes and vocal snippets on opener 'Goose' are driven by an unrelenting groove that is partnered with slick, unexpected nuances. “Is there any fucking love in here?” they scream, muffled but perfectly audible on 'Tigerfox', as if yelling those words desperately in the middle of a glass-strewn dancefloor brawl. Chariot's brevity is probably its key weapon. With no song over three minutes 30 seconds – apart from closer 'Glitter' – and left at a round 10 tracks, each listen confirms that nothing has been left in – or out - unnecessarily. And yes, the urge to absorb more of the record's riffing heat, especially now winter has set in, means you'll return to the beginning only seconds after listening. I defy you not to begin sprinting up hills to try to physically engage with the surging pulse running through this album.

It's destined to be overlooked, not just because of the lack of label and press support, but because it didn't fit snugly into 2010's multitude of scenes cleverly accumulated by the most audible tastemakers. But Chariot deserves to be heard by fans of snaking melodies laced with full-throated, bar-chatter-halting yells because those people will be more than satiated; they'll probably be inspired too, especially when leaden, cloud-smeared hypnotics are heralded as the sound of now. We all know that that will never ring entirely true as long as bands the calibre of The Cast Of Cheers are around and Chariot will be our evidence to the contrary as well. - drownedinsound.com


Discography

Chariot - Digital Only [LP]

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Bio

A great name, catchy songs and instant acclaim has estabished Dublin four-piece The Cast Of Cheers as a firm favourite with music critics and fans alike and a band you will be hearing much more of in 2011 and beyond.

In 2010, the band quietly released their debut album Chariot for free download on Bandcamp. They went on to on to recieve RTEs Outstanding Contribution to Irish Music award, honed their live act with gigs in New York, Berlin and London, and were the first ever act to be nominated for the Choice Music Prize in their native Ireland for a download only album.

Not ones to rest on their laurels though, brothers and frontmen Conor and Neil Adams, bassist John Higgins and drummer Kevin Curran are already back in studio recording the follow up.

The Cast Of Cheers look set to become the new favourite band of many more if they continue at such a blistering speed.