Despite what the separatist and geographical pedants might say, Manchester and Salford do rub up against each other in unholy, frictional matrimony. That said, it’s not advisable to travel between the two alone at night. Get a taxi, boys and girls. Some poor council bugger has put down blue strip lighting on Chapel Street. It’s probably supposed to be a beacon, but has the reverse effect of a landing light. “Seek civilisation now”. This is especially pertinent if you’re trying to locate Islington Mill; a well-meaning drop in a sea of despondency. Kult Country are headlining, so people are most definitely locating.
Before this, there is a conundrum. A band who may or may not be Peace Signs and/or Fruit Tones. They say Fruit Tones, but the kaleidoscopic back projections suggest more the former moniker, with all its psychedelic connotations. There’s some guys who were in a band and now there’s another band that’s a bit different and no one seems quite sure. The incestuous bloodlines are nigh on impossible to follow. Amateur Sherlocking aside, the name is really immaterial, lucky when factual accuracy is at a minimum. What they play is surfy, 60s gilded brilliance with all the rough-hewn edges of a band that’s based at least 58 miles from the beach, and even then it’s just Formby Beach. There’s not a single sunshine metaphor, as far as I’m aware, for which we are eternally grateful. Instead it’s a disorientating fog of fervent pop.
Tonight sounds like the DSM-5 reads. That’s the definitive medical tome on psychiatrics, and an essential holiday read. There’s the unflinching Obsessional Defiant Disorder against musical expectations, the unnervingly volatile schizophrenia. There’s not even a footnote for conventionality. Kult Country could collectively lay claim to several of the neuroses. For example, Multiple Personality Disorder; there are loads of them, at least six on an off-day. Then there’s the unflinching Obsessive Personality Disorder, with regards to the music they make. As a result, frontman Yousif got quite pissed off when a reviewer called him a “grungy slacker”. In actuality, they’ve got ideas spewing forth all over the place. Tangentially, “Impulsiveness” is Item 14 on Dr Bob Hare’s Psychopath Checklist.
Diagnoses aside, Kult Country do pulsating, dirty sounds, and they do it unapologetically. In both volume and vigour, the Kult Country experience is less of an aural assault, and more of a full-blown hostage situation. Balaclavas and everything. Its claustrophobic grip has all the reserve of a feral child, but with its writhing, agile intricacies, it’s another beast entirely. It’s clever. Tell all your friends about it. They’ll be safety in numbers.