This band is from Dublin, Ireland, and they have the task of opening up the entire festival on Friday afternoon! High pressure indeed. They certainly have an odd name, but at least it is memorable, and stands out from wave after wave of ‘Something and the Whatevers’ band names. For this they should be applauded. I actually already have their debut album, ‘Chariot’, which they are kindly giving away free to all and sundry (here: http://thecastofcheers.bandcamp.com/ ), but never got around to listening to until I saw their place on the line-up. Freeness can indicate a lack of quality (part of the reason I didn’t pay it much attention), but this does not apply here!
They play some pretty darn tight math-rock (another stupid sounding genre title, but never mind), with a punkish sort of spirit/sound. ‘Cast of Cheers’ seem at first glance to be charging through their songs like punks, but once you listen more closely, you’ll here that the instruments are being played in complex, intricate, and often fast ways; there’s some real skill going on here. Thankfully though, this music does not exist to showcase the ability of the players, but to create excited movement in their audience(so it would seem). The weak link here is the vocals; the singer’s voice is not pleasing to my ears, and he is mainly shouting into them. But this is a problem not too hard to overcome, as much of most of the songs are instrumental. And he’s far from the worst vocalist I’ve heard.
Given a relatively up-for-it crowd in Berlin (not necessarily guaranteed when opening), I think the Cast of Cheers could work very nicely. Go download their album – it is free after all.