The opening track, “Trust Us (We’re Lunch Cult)", of Lunch Cult’s new self-titled album serves as the band’s mission statement: they employ face smashing guitar riffs and garbled lyrics to tell the listener they’re to be trusted. Or maybe not, Lunch Cult doesn’t really care to clear that up in the song. The lyrics get gobbled up by the cymbals and guitars, but that seems to be exactly what they intended. They’re slacker-rock punks with an attention to detail and sound like what would happen if Pavement and The Dismemberment Plan raised a kid in the suburbs.
When Lunch Cult do choose to use lyrics, they use them effectively. “I think I wanna live!” is shouted through the chaos of “Trust Us”, a line that works only because it somehow manages to rise up where all other lines failed. “On Time” shows they have an ear for pop as well: breezy guitars complement the wavering vocals to nicely follow up the aggression of the first few tracks.
The second half of the album gets a little less weird and a little more self indulgent. Tracks such as “Sock Privacy” and “Don Q” are “musicians’ music” and are difficult to sit all the way through. Some chord changes start to sound forced instead of fresh (i.e. “Paris”) and the jams can seem a little long winded. That’s not to say the second half doesn’t have its gems. “Teenager” opens with a minute of a repeated guitar note and the line “I’m a teenager” and quickly evolves into one of the more fleshed out pop tunes of the record. This song also holds some of Lunch Cult’s best lyrics, detailing a conversation we all wish we could’ve had with our dads: “Well, Jesus was a teenager once. He turned water to wine, and he got all fucked up! He was like ‘Father Joseph, you’re not my real dad. I’m the son of God, and I’m so cool and bad,’”.
So Lunch Cult is fun. Lunch Cult is weird. Lunch Cult is punk, but Lunch Cult is also very suburban. Their album artwork sums up their sound well, tanks shoot down fighter jets over a massive explosion. Sure, it’s punk as fuck, but it also looks like a nine year old drew it. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and that’s what works best for ‘em.
If you find yourself loving Lunch Cult's punky, lunchy vibes go check them out on their East Coast tour this January!
- Chris Reed '19