ARTIST: CULTURE ABUSE
TITLE: BAY DREAM
LABEL: EPITAPH RECORDS
Bursting onto our summer soundtrack in full technicolour, the Californian punk mob, better known as Culture Club, has been a name passed around the fire pits during the long summer nights over the last month or so.
A band that vocalist David Kelling describes as having the diversity that would allow them to open up for both the likes of Arcade Fire through to Turnstile, Bay Dream is a record that sonically full fills the audio needs of both the hipsters and the punk scene. The opening self-titled track, Bay Dream cuts straight to the point, an upbeat anthem that mirrors 90s artists such as Len, it’s both an uplifting and heart-tugging love song to their hometown of San Francisco. However, its not until the follow-up track, Rats In The Wall that the band demonstrate their full songwriting potential. A tambourine shaking beat, and the wonderful narrative of the 70s named Judy, this tie-dyed summertime song seems like it was almost ripped off a Beatles record, with a Hey Jude follow up of, “come on Judy” thrown in just for extra good measure.
“If Hollywood was to do a remake of the cult classic, Almost Famous then this would be the soundtrack…”
However, scaling the genre timeline entirely, we’re soon teleported further ahead and into the 90s, as the enigmatic of Bee Kind To The Bugs kicks in (of which the track title also awards them with extra points for the strong pun game), showering us in Smashing Pumpkin’s-esque melodies. A colourful landscape of both grunge and psychedelia, the happy go lucky chorus is soul enriching with it’s message of both self-love, and showing kindness to those that also inhabit the world around us. If that isn’t true punk then what is?
As we get caught up in the enchanting, and melodic sea that is Bay Dream, the only factors setting us adrift is how each track almost too easily folds into one another, making it at times hard to grasp which song you’re listening to without hitting a chorus or skimming over a track listing. If you’re also looking to return to the guitar-heavy, no noise control sounds of their previous record, Peach, then this record really will take you by surprise.
If Hollywood was to do a remake of the cult classic, Almost Famous then this would be the soundtrack, with Penny Lane taking pencil and cassette to record Bay Dream straight from the radio show of Lester Bangs. In the space of ten tracks, they deliver a phenomenal sophomore record that inducts the punks straight into the new hall of rock n roll fame, and for Culture Abuse it seems like it’s all finally happening.
WORDS: GEORGIA RAWSON