Cub Sport – This is Our Vice

Cub Sport began life some seven years ago as Tim Nelson and The Cub Scouts, a sextet brimming with baroque-pop sweetness and blushing shyness on their charming self-titled 2010 EP. Within a year, they had slimmed both their lineup (down to five) and their name (dropping “Tim Nelson and the”), incorporating a sunnier kind of indie-pop to go with their overhaul. Since 2013, they’ve finally whittled it down to four of them, and explored even further out in the wider reaches of their immediate musical spectrum under their third name, Cub Sport.

So, where do we find the band on their all-important debut? This is Our Vice is a glistening, hypercolour pop record, boasting hooks that could melt into your mouth (stunning opener ‘Sun’, ‘I Don’t Love My Baby’) and hitherto-unseen production sheen. Sonically, the record sends guitars off into the distance, builds giant pyramids out of layers of synths and launches the intertwined vocal arrangements into the proverbial stratosphere. Minor missteps occur – the spoken-word outro of ‘Runner’ verging just on the wrong side of creepy – but the fact that Nelson and co. are still willing to stick their necks out for this band means that they’re evolving.

7/10 stars