Cashier No.9 – To The Death Of Fun (Bella Union)
July 21, 2011 by Amanda Mace
Cashier No.9 are a misleading bunch. You would, in fact, be forgiven for second guessing debut album ‘To The Death Of Fun’ as a grumpy outing, rife with angsty depravity. Yet In place of the desperate wails of an unsatisfied supermarket clerk is a surprisingly jolly affair, stuffed so frantically with wishes and sunshine it would slot happily onto the ipod of a care bear.
The Belfast quintet begin their fledging venture with ‘Goldstar’, which with gentle glee sets the tone perfectly. Featuring toe-twitching percussion that wouldn’t be out of place on a festive compilation, their opener trails eager listeners through lush forests and cotton clouds with the promise of a magical journey ahead.
Cashier No.9 are such talented dreamers that tracks ‘Make you Feel Better’ and ‘The Lighthouse Will Lead You Out’ sneak past without ever really amounting to anything. Somehow, their sound is often enchanting enough that a chorus might do too well to lift content listeners from a summery stupor. And where other outfits could be dismissed for lacking focus, this band mange to satisfy, combining delicate riffs with carefree vocals.
It is with this advantage that clear comparisons to mystical funk-magnets MGMT can be drawn. On several occasions during To The Death Of Fun, Cashier No.9 mirror the pedalling whimsy of Connecticut’s favourite bright-eyed escapists. Indeed, the triumphant ‘Flick of the Wrist’ is spotted with circular vowels a’la Andrew VanWyngarden, while in ‘Lost at Sea’ vocals play second fiddle to a galloping shuffle. Fortunately, this band appear to be having too much fun to succumb to shamefaced flattery throughout.
As the highest point of To The Death Of Fun, the infectious ‘Oh Pity’ is wonderfully stitched together, coupling spiralling melody with rattlesnake percussion. The most up-tempo of the lot, this shimmery track, which oozes with adventure, proves Cashier No.9 are at their finest when they dispose of reality entirely.
Cloaked in mist and innocence, closing track ‘6%’ paws gingerly at your earlobes as keyboards pad through distant whispers. When Cashier No.9’s debut closes we are left with a trickling stream, the snorts of an unknown creature, and the feeling of having just completed a particularly psychedelic addition to the Rayman games.
Most pleasing about this surprisingly upbeat first outing is a sense of wonder and imagination that could place the roots of its sound almost anywhere. And it is this spark of enthusiasm that should nudge Cashier No.9 firmly into the spotlight.