Cult of Sue Todd – Kelsey Grammer Loves Us (CD)

The production value of “Kelsey Grammer Loves Us”, specifically during “ExBoyfriends”, is not the best. The track puts a heavy focus on the vocal component of the act, with the guitars only weakly responding to the act. However, Cult of Sue Todd are not slouches in regard to the arrangements that they bring to their listeners. “ExBoyfriends” is just one of many tracks that builds up from one thing (vocals) to including so many different sounds and layers as to be a “Where’s Waldo” of indie-rock. The one band that seems to be a valid comparison to Cult of Sue Todd has to be the Violent Femmes. Both acts seem to have fun with their tracks, but always keep a certain level of musicianship present at all times.

“Like a Bonedry Cannoball” is the most serious track that one will hear on the first segment of “Kelsey Grammer Loves Us”. In this track, the same shaky production is present, but there seems to be a focus more on the instrumentation instead of the vocals. The vocals, when they are present, are dead-pan and serious. “Fine Fettle” is Cult of Sue Todd’s first foray into the new-folk genre that is headed up by individuals like Devendra Banhart.

The results are fairly close to the norm for the genre, but seem to have a little more maturity when it comes to the arrangement aspect of things. This means that the vocals are heading up the track, but the instruments provide a solid net throughout for the background of the track. “Genuflect” is a variation on the folk style, but keeps things interesting because of the inclusion of a set of horns that perk up the composition. Cult of Sue Todd play whatever style of music that they wish to play, and it is up to their fans to acclimate to the act, and not vise versa. This means that a song like “Nails” can be so different in its Harvey Danger meets emo band style when it is just after a jazzy folk track. Cult of Sue Todd may be off the popular radar, but just given a proper push, they would be darlings of the aging hipster set that program all the alternative stations throughout the United States. The band creates a compilation CD out of fourteen tracks, and the devotion to quality is something that is just not heard in this current day and age.

Top Tracks: ExBoyfriends, Ohio2

Rating: 6.9/10

Cult of Sue Todd – Kelsey Grammer Loves Us / 2006 Self / 14 Tracks / / Reviewed 23 July 2006


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