Review: Cults at the Triple Rock Social Club

The lo-fi lovebirds got moody at the Triple Rock Social Club last night.

Review: Cults at the Triple Rock Social Club

by Sarah Harper


HereâÄôs a recipe to try out next time youâÄôre bored on a Thursday night.

Take one empty Triple Rock Social Club. Add a glockenspiel and two hotties with waist-long hair. Whisk the somber, sassy 21 year olds until they produce a frothy pop. Pepper in a reference to TV show âÄúTwin PeaksâÄù and a sampling of cult leader Jim JonesâÄô voice.

Allow the mixture to ferment in dramatic red light. Serve it all up in front of a projection of âÄúThe Night of the Hunter,âÄù a notoriously creepy film from 1955.

It might sound like an unconventional combination of flavors, but the aftertaste wonâÄôt disappoint.

Madeline Follin and her boyfriend Brian Oblivion, whose recorded music is so sweet it will make you feel sticky, served up something much darker at the Triple Rock last night. Together, the long-haired lovebirds from San Diego make up the band Cults.

Cults drew more from the 1950s than just a video backdrop for their concerts. Their brand of lo-fi pop recalls the Shangri-Las âÄî Follin often crooned sweet and slow before the band dropped into a more contemporary sound.

When Cults werenâÄôt evoking a slow dance during prom night at Rydell High, they were inspiring head-boppinâÄô and hip-shakinâÄô with  heavier guitars and a quick pace.

While the headliner was still a twinkle in concertgoersâÄô eyes, the opening act Reptar brought fans into a wack-backwards world in which clapping is an instrument in its own right and games of catch are played with tambourines.

ItâÄôs no surprise that the boyish goofs of the Georgia-based band listed themselves as an âÄúAfro-beat / Breakcore / Disco HouseâÄù act on their Myspace âÄì their sense of humor seems to inform everything they do. What was genuinely surprising was how entrancing and sincere their dance pop set was. ItâÄôs not often that the opener of a show is a supremely tough act to follow, but thatâÄôs what happened at the this concert.

Luckily, Cults had no problem filling the clown shoes of their openers, albeit with a more sinister foot.

With the fervor of a teenage girl writing in her diary after a day of emotional ups and downs, femme fatale Follin scrunched up her face and memorably belted a few lines.

But for most of the set, the vixen singer kept it as cool as one would expect from a girl who met her band mate while studying film at New York University.

Unfortunately, that coolness lacked the naïve power thatâÄôs captured in the bandâÄôs recordings.

And just as FollinâÄôs voice tended to slink back and buckle up in the backseat, the glockenspiel that adds such a colorful, saccharine quality to CultsâÄô self-titled debut was not as much of an audible focus in concert as it should have been.

Perhaps this audio mismatch was a result of an acoustic comedy of errors at the Triple Rock. In that case, what can you do?