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Brisbane’s indie-pop stars Cub Sport have finally made their long awaited return. Following a lengthy absence from our airwaves Tim Nelson, Zoe Davis, Sam Netterfield and Dan Puusaari are back with This Is Our Vice, a 10 track collection that proves their knack for good pop hooks are well intact. At first sight the titles of the tracks seem to foreshadow a glum listening experience, from I Can’t Save You to It Kills Me to I Don’t Love My Baby and I Feel Bad Now, however the music that follows is far from a bore.
Disguising gloomy coming of age tales as boppy indie-pop, Brisbane darlings Cub Sport are at the top of their game on their debut This Is Our Vice.
One of their more popular cuts from the LP I Can’t Save You, is an easy listening hit which has the right balance of familiarity without becoming boring. The intro features a dancing, high energy beat which oozes happy vibes, and continues to form the foundation of the song throughout. The band have previously confessed the groovy bass line was inspired by Beyonce’s song Blow and the refreshing guitar riff was originally played on a keyboard, the track recorded in their bedroom studio.
The seductive, almost whispering male vocals are introduced and layered over the top, calming the bubbling atmosphere and sustaining the easy listening experience. The chorus whilst ultimately not punchy features a call and response between the lead vocals and airy backing vocals which act as an echo. This echoing adds texture and couples with the repetitive nature of the lyrics to create a rather catchy tune. The bridge alternatively is much more stripped back, the dominant bass line creating an eerie undertone. Short sections of instrumental further add to the diversity of the song, however the consistency of sounds throughout the track make this the perfect tune to relax to without any dramatic, musical surprises.
It Kills Me, whilst still a pretty cruisey track, steps up the groove to create a dynamic and exciting number. The jagged, bopping and climbing beat will have you visualising a sneaking ninja agent – which makes no sense but is perfectly aligned to the sound of this one. Don’t be fooled by the track’s title which suggests a gloomy ballad; the groovy music couples with, again, seductive sounding lyrics that realise this to be a heart-throbbing love song. “You’re so beautiful” are the opening words sung softly enough with a hint of raw croakiness to lure listeners into Cub Sports’ paws.
The pre-chorus is a mild change with a building snare drum, faster paced lyrics and a subtle harmony in the background. The chorus then changes again, reverting back to the sneaking ninja groove, and exhibits a back and forth vocal melody being thrown about effortlessly. This is a song that can fit snugly in any playlist for sure. Other upbeat, pop hits from the album to be checked out include I’m on Fire, I Feel Bad Now and Vice.
If you’re after a breather from the dancing and heart-pumping tunes, perhaps the album’s first track Sun is the way to go. The track opens with sustained synth and distorted euphoric vocals which will put you in a dream like trance. The smooth vocals slide upward to a soft falsetto, accompanied by a slower tempo which encourages a sway rather than a bop. Scattered, chiming bells add to the euphoria, the chorus line “heading into to sun” becoming almost cathartic. Common in most of the album’s songs, varying vocal layers and harmonies continues to soften the overall sound of the track.
Overall This is Our Vice is a killer indie-pop album which has the perfect mix of easy listening, upbeat pop hits and a few tracks that sit in between. With great diversity and talent, Cub Sport are sure to find great success if they keep producing music like this. We see Splendour in their future.
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