Cult of Youth
Cult of Youth
Born out of a love for the post-industrial music and culture that had inspired him ever since he had first discovered music as a teenager, Cult of Youth began as a series of home recordings by founder Sean Ragon. Ragon’s solo Cult of Youth project released a 7-inch and then one full length on then fledgling Dais Records (also responsible for introducing the world to Cold Cave and releasing Genesis P-Orridge’s pre-Throbbing Gristle recordings for the first time). The early recordings seemed to strike a chord with many people who felt alienated by the cultural irony and lo-fi slacker mentality that was ever present in independent music at the time. Adding three permanent members to the line-up: performance artist/director/painter/occult scholar Micki Pellerano on bass, machinist drummer Glenn Maryanski, and the violin virtuoso/goddess Christiana Key. (Key’s brilliant string arrangements were recently featured on new Zola Jesus single “Poor Animal.”)
This is their first album as a proper band, produced by Chris Coady and mixed by Swans producer Kevin McMahon; it’s an ideal realization of the amazing potential this new full band line-up. It is a neo-folk masterpiece, perhaps the first of its kind from an American band. Although still rooted in the acoustic guitar driven Teutonic chants of the early material, the focus has changed and the scope is broader. Cult of Youth shifts from delicate pagan folk music reminiscent of Paul Giovanni’s landmark soundtrack to The Wicker Man, to hazy Turkish psychedelic passages, and even to the rugged Americana of traditional country music. This debut is an unapologetic and unabashed search for a spiritual identity in an increasingly homogenized world. It serves as a clear and thorough introduction for all the burgeoning dark punks out there who wanna go a bit deeper but haven’t yet figured out where to start.