Published Jun 12, 2015Born from the ashes of Gaza, Salt Lake City, UT's Cult Leader have taken the full-speed ahead approach since the band's 2013 inception. After last year's highly revered debut EP, Nothing For Us Here, and between consistent touring stints, including a recent one in Alaska, Cult Leader return with the crushing three-song EP Useless Animal, which sees the band exploring new musical territories. The title track and "Gutter Gods" are more of the Cult Leader we know and love: raw, chaotic attacks of heavy, grinding noise filled with furious, tormented aggression.
"You Are Not My Blood," however, is an exceptionally different juxtaposition. The seven-minute track is a Mark Kozelek and Desertshore cover, and sees Cult Leader joined by the superbly talented Kim Pack and Sarah Pendleton (members of SLC sludge-doom band Subrosa). The rendition is anchored with the band's lumbering dark tones and Anthony Lucero's low, haunting vocals and complemented by Pack and Pendleton, who add strings to the track; the result is sombre, yet beautiful.
The inventive "You Are Not My Blood" pairs surprisingly well with the jarring, distorted hostility of the first two numbers, and takes Useless Animal to another level entirely. (Deathwish Inc.)