“Dear UK Top 40 chart music, it’s not you, it’s me. Yes, I know we had many happy years together, and even in more barren, recent years, I still managed to find the odd little quirk that I loved about you. But of late, I feel you’ve become a little too staid and set in your ways. Quite simply, I fear we are drifting apart. I never thought I’d say that but here we are. Yours regretfully, Albums Ed.”
I once dated a girl who I thought was really attractive. One day though, she told me that someone had pointed out that she looked like the drummer from Hanson. I couldn’t unsee that after the idea had been planted in my brain. It was all downhill from there.
Similarly, Cub Sport have chosen to open their eponymously titled third album with the midnight vigil of ‘Unwinding Myself‘, a pretty, stripped back torch ballad that features only Tim Nelson’s dulcet tones. This would be all well and good, were it not for the fact that his bare falsetto, to my ears at least, were a dead ringer for those of Matt Goss, of Bros fame. It’s problematic, to say the least. Again, I can’t “unsee” it.
‘Video‘ is up next, featuring Brisbane rapper/singer Mallrat, who seems quite comfortable despite the fact that he seems to have swallowed R Kelly‘s autotune, while also getting somehow stuck in a deserted swimming pool. Four minutes of utterly abject nothingness.
But what do Cub Sport care? I am merely an old man as far as they are concerned, and given their standing as the most played act on Triple J, as well as amassing more than 39 million streams on Spotify alone, I would suggest that my own ambivalence towards them is hardly likely to see the Aussie band sizzling the barbie with tears of devastation.
There are clefts of light here and there though, such as when ‘Limousine‘ breaks the monotony, coming on like the early morning dance beats favoured by early noughties stalwarts such as Dirty Vegas or Chicane. But even that track steals the melody of the Calvin Harris/Dua Lipa smash ‘One Kiss‘ in order to succeed. Elsewhere, the band is all too dependent on trying to emulate Justin Bieber‘s successful ‘What Do You Mean‘/’Love Yourself‘ period. If, indeed, it is actually possible to talk about Bieber in terms of periods.
Look, there’s little point in me going on here, isn’t there? If you like the bland, identikit production of most of what passes for the official top 40 these days – and Cub Sport have every chance of becoming a staple, on this evidence – you’ll love this album.
Music for people who think Adele is too cutting edge. I can press stop now. Thank fuck for that.
Cub Sport’s self-titled album is out now.