After the disappointingly familiar Night Electric Night (2009) the Deathstars took a break to revisit the drawing board and after a five year hiatus present us with their fourth album ‘The Perfect Cult’.
After a short eerie build up, ‘Explode’ literally does what it says on the shell case as it kicks into its driving mid paced militaristic groove which inevitably goose steps to the first of many catchy sing along chorus hooks. ‘Fire Galore’ hots up the tempo with its bouncy ‘New Rock’ stomping beat, and before we get chance to douse the flames we’re wallowing in the synthesized drama of ‘All The Devils Toys’. There are tinges of Type O Negative about this track, that along with the melody in the vocals makes a refreshing change to the usual moody monotone style adopted thus far. ‘Ghost Reviver’ is another mid paced anthem which leads us to the romp and pomp of the title track ‘A Perfect Cult’. ‘Asphalt Wings’ is yet another catchy, mid paced, pasty faced banger which brings us to the bizarre intro of Bodies. Now I’m sure there’s some deep and meaningful concept behind this introductory excerpt but to me it sounds like k9’s offspring in a sack waiting to be drowned…once the strangeness ceases we’re presented with a looming half time trudge reminiscent of a poppy take on Frontline Assembly. Next up is the pompous pumping piledriver ‘Temple of the Insects’. Slowing the pace once again with the penultimate ‘Track Crush & Prevail’ (which seems to drag a bit for my liking), and finally we have the edgy, yet powerful ‘Noise Cuts’ which brings the album to a close.
Having spent my early twenties in the London Goth scene, bands such as Deathstars were firmly rooted on the pop side of the genre (not that there is anything wrong with that), and stand out tracks of their earlier albums provided a catchy, guilty pleasure that stuck in my head and wouldn’t go away for days. Sadly the five year break hasn’t seen them develop their sound and style and personally I find that the band seems to have adopted an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ approach, which works fine if you’re AC/DC, Motorhead, or even Status Quo but I’m not sure this particular style has any longevity without some kind of progression.
(6/10 Lauren Whittaker)