Hailing from Boston, recently formed alternative rock band Summer Cult actually hark past to the past sonically on their debut EP titled These Days. While the socio-political subject matter may be current, the outfit’s sound is tinted with a grungy, ‘90s alt-rock patina that never gets old.
The tight and driving rhythm section of Andrew Knox (bass, vocals) and Adrian Navarro (drums) is augmented by Sam Gelston on guitar and vocals.
Songwriter Gelston’s lyrics embody the perspective of an introverted individual who is trying to make his/her own way in the world. His words take into account the upside down social and political landscape we’re currently occupying.
The band members don’t hide their love for power pop, punk, and alt-rock and display an assured ease when it comes to blending these genres on the EP’s songs. Influences like Modest Mouse, Sonic Youth, The Replacements, and Queens Of The Stone Age can all be heard at times, as well as a healthy dollop of Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr. in the restless and dynamic sound.
Roiling EP-opener and title track “These Days” pushes forward with Gelston moaning ruefully the succinct lyrics, “Trying to find / peace of mind / these days.” The more ponderous, Nirvana-leaning “Somebody (Living Without You)” is a measured pace rumination that still vibrates with vivid instrumentation and lyrics.
The gently flowing to scintillating dream-rocker “Beginning To See The Light” is lyrically illuminating – the realization of self-identity and how others perceive you – and how it’s not exactly pretty (“Fixated on things I can’t fix” and “I’m always playing your fool”).
The agitated “Albatross” flies with jittery wings, all pounded-out, fast-paced drum beats, wiry guitar angles, digging bass line, and aching, but still laid-back vocal delivery until a deeply swirling, Alice In Chains-like ending.
The burnished “Right On Cue” sweeps on by with a chugging rhythm, guitar conflagration, and a smattering of drum pummel. The song is good-natured and sincere in sound, but with searching lyrics and a questioning vocal delivery.
Listen to single "Right on Cue":