The cover art for Blue Cast Catalyst’s sophomore album is decorated with a brightly-coloured ice cream sundae. It’s a huge clue to the bright and sweet psych pop music main songwriter Adam Trull creates in his downtime from being a “corporate worker bee”.
Comparisons to The Beach Boys and Phil Spector are bold and somewhat optimistic claims but ‘Socrates Scultpure’ does contain an impressive variation in the “Wall Of Sound” approach with layers of looped melodies the favoured calling card here. Opener ‘Surrender Love’ sets an early benchmark for Blue Cast Catalyst’s warped, psychedelic melodies. It’s energetic, multi-layered and it also employs similar vocal manipulation techniques as Two Twins’ terrific debut album. Cast aloft on hip-hop beats, the hypnotic ‘Dixie’ possesses an almost nursery rhyme like quality, whilst ‘Agree Machines’ brings on the trumpets and steel drums and is a fine choice for the first single.
Gradually, though, the exuberance can become a little wearing and towards the second half of the album, there is a sense that too much ice cream has been consumed so perhaps less sugary tastes need to be catered for. The needs are addressed to some extent. ‘Dresden Novel’ amasses jungle sounds and analog synths into a beat-heavy whole and the rapping on ‘Like Pink Skies’ adds a change in tone even if it seems slightly misplaced. The only semblance of melancholy is reserved until the final song, ‘Epilogue’, as Trull sings “I miss you” repeatedly over a stately keyboard melody and ‘I’m Not In Love’ style vocal effects. He would do well to capture this side of his personality more on future releases.
No one should ever be criticised for enthusiasm and positivity but for much of ‘Socrates Scultpture’, the abundance of ideas and sunny outlook becomes overpowering. Having said that, Trull shows great potential here and maybe just needs to add darker shades to balance his rainbow of sound.
Two Twins, Sweet Trip